Tips For Spotting A Heating Oil Tank Leak

If you want to make sure that you are not wasting any heating fuel, you need to keep an eye out for oil tank leaks. To help you do just that, you will want to take a few minutes to review the following tips. This way, you can have the problem corrected before too much money is wasted on heating oil that is not getting used to actually warm up your home.

Use Some Cardboard

Find a large cardboard box that you can break apart along the seams so that it will lay flat. Wait until it is a nice day outside so that rain will not get in the way or ruin the cardboard. Then, lay the cardboard on the ground under the heating oil tank. Make sure that you are placing a few bricks or rocks in the corners of the cardboard so that it does not blow away in the wind. Allow it to sit there for the entire day. Check back later to see if you spot any heating oil on the cardboard. If you see any oil, you might need a new heating oil tank.

Keep An Eye On The Oil Level

Some leaks are super slow and may not appear on the cardboard over the course of a day or two. Therefore, you are going to have to be a little more aware of the oil level within the tank. You should know how long your tank of oil will last your home on average. Does it seem as though the level of oil is going down a lot faster than usual? (If you aren’t sure about how high your oil should be, contact a professional delivery service like Bay State Fuel Oil Inc to see if your levels are normal.) If so, is it possible that you have been cranking up the thermostat to a much higher temperature? If not, then it could be that your furnace is not actually using more, but rather that the oil is being wasted and it is soaking into the ground beneath the tank.

With those two tips in mind, you should be able to spot a heating oil tank leak within a short amount of time. Once you discover a leak, you will need to contact a contractor immediately. Allow him or her to evaluate the overall condition of the oil tank to determine if it is able to be repaired or if you simply need a brand new tank. The sooner you have all of this dealt with, the sooner you will be able to stop wasting money on heating fuel that is not actually getting used.

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How Central Air Works And The Importance Of Keeping The Filter Clean

You’ve more than likely heard that it’s crucial for you to make sure you keep the filter for your central air conditioning system clean. However, many people still continue to ignore this advice, causing them higher energy bills and possibly even problems with their cooling system. To understand the importance of your air conditioners filter, you first need to understand how your air conditioner works. This will help you understand why it’s so important. This article will explain your cooling system to you so you understand what the filter’s role is.

The components of your system

Your central air conditioning system will have an air handler, which is generally locate d on the roof or on the side of the house. The air handler is what draws air in, cools it off and sends it back into the house.

The system also includes air ducts which run through the house into the separate rooms. At the end of each duct is a register, and this is the part that comes out of the ceiling or wall that you can adjust to control how the cool air comes in the room.

There is also the thermostat, which regulates the temperature and allows you to change the temperature settings. The thermostat is also where you will turn the system on and off.

The filter is a removable filter that’s generally located in the ceiling of a hallway near the center area of your home. The filter is protected and kept in place by a slotted covering that allows air to come inside when the air handler calls for it.

How the system works

When the temperature in your home goes above the setting on the thermostat, it sends a message to the air handler which in turn will cause air from the room to be pulled through the filter and ducts to the handler itself, where the air will be moved through coils and the compressor where it will be cooled due to refrigerant in the system.

The cool air will then make its way back through the ducts where it will exit the system through the registers in each room.

Once the thermometer in the thermostat recognizes that the air in the room matches the temperature request on the thermostat, the system will temporarily shut off.

Cleaning your filter

When the air is pulled through the filter, any dust and hair in the air will come with it. The filter will catch this debris so it doesn’t make its way through the system. When the filter is dirty, the air won’t be able to pass through the filter as it should and this causes the system to need to work harder. This will raise your energy bills and put more wear and tear on your system.

Along with keeping your filter clean, you should also have an HVAC tech like Enright and Sons come out before the start of the warm season to make sure everything is working properly. This way, they can catch any small problems before they become large, expensive repairs.

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Four Tips for Repairing and Maintaining an Evaporative Cooling System

If you live in a dry climate, an evaporative cooler may be the affordable cooling solution for your home. These systems have many benefits such as energy efficiency, but they will also require regular maintenance and repairs. Some of the things you will need to do include annual maintenance and maintenance throughout the season. There may also be small repairs that need to be done occasionally. Here are some of the things that you may want to know about your maintenance and repair needs for your cooling.

1. Doing Annual Maintenance before Using Your AC

Just like with any other type of air conditioning, your system will need to do annual maintenance to your evaporative cooler. This maintenance consists of removing weatherization like covers, opening the valves,  and changing the filter medium to get it ready for the hot summer weather. You may also want to clean the reservoir and flush out debris inside the unit.

2. Checking Your Evaporative Cooler for Small Repair Needs

You may also eventually need to do small repairs to your evaporative cooler. There are some things that you may want help with, while other repairs you can do yourself. Things like replacing a float valve is something that you can easily do yourself by removing a few screws and installing a new float. Whenever you do any of these repairs, make sure that the power is off on the system before you begin.

3. Removing Hard Mineral Deposits from Moving Parts

In many areas, hard water and mineral deposits can be a problem on many home mechanical systems. This is especially true for evaporative cooling system. The minerals can build up on moving parts and cause your system to not perform properly. If you want to prevent these problems, removing the mineral deposits during regular maintenance can reduce wear on your system.

4. Checking and Changing Filter Mediums Regularly

The filter medium is one of the most essential parts of your evaporative cooler. Not only will it help to filter air, but also water runs through the filter and evaporates to provide the cooling effect. When the filter becomes dirty, it can reduce the performance of your system, which is why it is important to check and change the filters regularly.

These are some tips that can help you with the maintenance and repairs you need for your evaporative cooler. If you need to have major maintenance and repairs done to your cooling system, contact an air conditioning repair contractor to get your system cooling again.

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Boost Your AC Unit: Three Ways to Beat the Summer Heat

The better your home shelters you from the summer heat, the less you have to worry about summer cooling costs. In other words, the key to getting the most efficiency from your AC system is to understand how heat enters your home and then improve your home’s heat defenses. A good place to start heat proofing your home is by improving the heat resistance of your roof and windows. 

Roofing and AC Costs

The part of your home that is most exposed to the sun is your roof. The sun beats down on your roof for the greater part of the the day. Some roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles, will absorb heat from the sun. In fact, shingles can get as hot as 150 degrees. Some of this heat transfers into your attic and from there into your home, which makes your AC unit’s job that much harder. The key to choosing energy-efficient roofing is to look for roofing that is both reflective and emissive. Reflective roofing will repel the sun’s heat, and emissive roofing will release what heat it does absorb back into the atmosphere. Metal roofing, for example, can decrease your cooling costs by up to 40%

Windows and AC Costs

Windows do not absorb heat like a roof will, but they can, nonetheless, contribute to high cooling costs. The problem with windows is that they allow the sun’s UV rays to streak right into your home. These UV rays will then heat up your walls, floors, and furniture. You could use blinds or curtains to block out the sun, but this deprives you of natural light and can cut off your view of the outside world. What you need is a way to filter out UV light while still allowing the sun to light up your home. A good low-e window film will reflect UV waves while still allowing you a view of the outside world. In this way window films can reduce your cooling bills by up to 23%

These two examples should be enough to demonstrate that if you take steps to seal heat out of your home, you can save on coolings costs. An AC unit can help to keep your home cool, but on a hot day, heat gain can exceed your AC unit’s capacity to keep your home cool, which means your home will continue to get warmer throughout the day even as your AC unit churns cool air into your home. Taking steps to reduce heat gain will make your AC unit’s job easier and save you money. Visit a contractor’s website, one like, for more information on air conditioning.

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Avoid Costly Heater Repairs In The Winter By Having Maintenance Done In The Summer

During the hot summer temperatures, the last thing on your mind is your heater. However, having maintenance done duing the summer is the best way to save money. In addition, you won’t have to wait for an available technician. You can usually call in the morning and have someone at your house in the afternoon, without having to pay for an emergency service call. While it would be impossible to predict every heating failure beforehand, if you want the best chance to avoid having your heater shut down in the middle of the night during the cold season, have the following routine maintenance performed before you have to turn the unit back on.

Cleaned System

It is just as important to have the duct work all cleaned as it is to have the combustion chamber cleaned. Dirt, soot and debris anywhere in the system will reduce air flow and cause your unit to work harder. This will cost you money as the unit comes on more frequently to keep your home at the set temperature. It also will cost you money to have the system repaired or replaced because the moving pieces cannot move freely when coated with soot.

Change the Filters

You may change the filters in the house vents monthly, but the oil filter on the furnace still needs to be changed to keep any impurities from getting into the oil. Even small pieces of dirt can clog the fuel jets and keep the system from running efficiently.

Patch Leaks

While your system will still operate properly if there are a few leaks in the system, it can cost you money or be a health concern. You do not want heated air escaping the house through the ducts, causing you to turn up the thermostat when the house is not warm enough.

System Check

Even though it is hot outside, you are going to have to allow the technician to turn on the heater for a moment to watch it run. He or she can then see if there is a part that is about to break or if something else is slightly off. Having the repair done now means you won’t have to do it when you need the heat.

In addition to saving money on costly winter repairs, when you have the service done in the summer the company often offers a large discount. Many people have their servicing done in the fall, right before it starts to get cold. This means that companies like Bristol Heating & Air Conditioning are busy again and do not have to look for work; it comes to them. To bring in more business in the summer, they will offer larger discounts. However you add it up, having routine maintenance on your heating system in the summer is going to save you money.

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Identifying And Fixing Common Air Conditioner Issues

The worst thing in the summer months is having a faulty air conditioning unit when you need it the most. With a few proper care techniques and general maintenance, you can better ensure that your AC unit will stay cool throughout the summer. Here are four ways to avoid common air conditioning problems.

1. An Overheated Air Conditioner

If your AC unit seems to overheat when you need it the most, maybe you are over using it when you don’t really need it. Make sure that in cooler evenings you switch to fans and give your air conditioning unit a chance to rest. If your AC is on full tilt morning noon and night, it will overheat and break down, needing repairs.

2. Air Conditioning Unit Making Noise

If your AC unit revs up with a grumble every time it is trying to cool down your home, this can get annoying. The solution to this problem can be a simple as wiping dirt and grime off of the compressor blades. Make sure to consult your AC unit’s owner’s manual and don’t clean down fan blades unless the unit is off. If you are unsure if you can find the problem area, call in an AC repair professional for a quick fix.

3. AC Running, But No Cold Air

If your AC unit sounds like it is working hard, but cool air is not coming out, several things could be the cause. Your unit might just need a cleaning, or there might be a problem with your refrigerant levels. Ask your repair specialist to check these two things first. You might be in need of a new compressor, but don’t let your repairman jump to big repairs until the first two minor possibilities are checked over.

4. Energy Bills on The Rise in the Summer

The older your AC unit is, the less efficient it will be, and it can run up your energy bills. If your air conditioner is over 10 years old, you might be due for a replacement. If your AC repair professional recommends a new air conditioning unit, make sure to take this advice seriously. New AC units are more energy efficient and come with warranties that can save you money in the long run.

Having an air conditioning unit that you can rely on is important, especially if you are in the middle of summer. You need to take care of your AC unit in order for it to be in good working condition for your cooling needs. Make sure the keep your air conditioner serviced so it will be in good working order when you need it the most. For more information, contact One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning.

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How To Make Your Swamp Cooler More Effecient

Swamp coolers, or evaporative coolers, are an alternative way to cool your home. They are based on the concept of evaporating air being cooler than the air surrounding it. Here are some ways to make your home less humid and move air better with a swamp cooler.

Run on Days with Low Humidity

Swamp coolers only work well on days with low humidity. A standard cooler only lowers room temperature 10-20 degrees, so run the unit when the humidity is 50% or lower and during the hottest times of the day.

Check the weather forecast for the humidity levels ahead of time because if the humidity in your area is constantly high, a swamp cooler will not be useful.

Ventilate and Balance Air Flow

You perhaps were told all the time growing up to keep windows shut when air was on. However, this isn’t the case with swamp coolers. Because swamp coolers don’t operate with vents, the existing air in the house needs a path to escape as cold air is blown in. Open a window opposite the cooler about two inches to lower the humidity in your house by making a cross breeze that sucks out hot air.

If the window is raised high enough, the door to the room should shut quietly. A door that shuts forcefully means the window should be lowered.

Check Water Levels and Pad Moisture

Check water level in the tank weekly because swamp coolers need a great deal of water to run. Dry spots may form on the pads if the water levels get too low.

The pads must be wet to cool the air going over them. To keep the pads moist, run the unit 15 minutes before you turn on the fans. Check pads to see if they need cleaning or replacing. Clean pads with a wire brush and coat with a sealer.

Get the Right Size

Swamp cooler units are measured by cubic feet per minute (CFPM). CFPM figures how much air the unit can move in cubic feet in one minute. Determine how much space in cubic feet you need to cool and divide that result by two.

These tips should help make your swamp cooler more effective. Swamp coolers are great for reducing energy consumption. If you have central air, don’t run the swamp cooler and central air at the same time since they will work against each other. Have the unit serviced twice annually by professional air conditioning services to ensure they last a long time.

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4 Alternatives To Conventional Home Heating Systems That Lower Energy Bills

If you are tired of paying high prices for heating your home, you may be looking for some heating alternatives. Today, there are many different systems that you can choose for your home. Solar and geothermal technology can be used to reduce the energy consumption of heating systems, and things like pellet stoves can be used to supplement heating in an affordable way. Here are some unconventional heating solutions that you may want to consider to lower your energy costs:

1. Geothermal Heat Exchangers For More Efficient Heating And Cooling

Geothermal heat exchangers can be a great way to get more energy efficiency for your heating. Geothermal systems use a ground loop to exchange heat with the ground. The loop is a circuit of barrier pipes that circulate a liquid. Your HVAC system uses the thermal energy to heat and cool your home. Geothermal systems work with conventional central HVAC and can greatly reduce the cost of heating your home, as well as improve the efficiency of cooling during summer months. The initial costs can be expensive, but these systems last for a long time and the geothermal elements rarely need to be replaced.

2. Solar Collectors For Heating And Hot Water Solutions In The Home

Solar energy is another great way to heat your home and provide hot water. These systems are collectors that heat water or a fluid that is then used by a water heater and heating system. The technology has improved, and now there are even evacuated tube solar heaters. These solar heaters are good because they can also work in colder climates and perform even when the ambient temperature is well below freezing, or on overcast days.

3. Biomass Stoves For A Classic Look And Modern Energy Efficient Heating

Biomass is another alternative to conventional heating systems. Biomass fuel is organic waste material that can be in the form of firewood, woodchips and pellet materials made from agricultural and lumber waste. There are also stoves that use these materials, which are inexpensive to use, have a high heat output and even classic designs. This can be an efficient alternative to replace a wood burning stove.

With the price of energy on the rise, using heating alternatives can help reduce costs for your home. If you need help with some of these solutions for your home, contact a heating contractor and talk with them about the heat needs of your home.

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Four AC Alternatives When Your HVAC Is Down For Repairs Or Upgrades

No one likes to have their AC go out in the middle of summer, but it often happens. And if this happens to your, you may need more than just simple repairs. Sometimes, upgrades and new installations mean that you will have to go without air conditioning for days or weeks. If this is when you need air conditioning, you may want to find some simple solutions to make it through any heatwaves. While your AC is being worked on by a professional service like Mountain Air Comfort Systems, you can follow one of these tips to help beat the heat:

1. Simple Ice AC Solution With A Cooler And A Fan

If you like DIY projects, there is a simple way to create an AC. You can use a cooler and a fan to create and AC. What you will want to do is cut a hole the diameter of the fan in the top of the cooler. Cut another hole for a wide tube to leave the cooler. You can freeze water bottles and place them in the cooler, and turn the fan on so that it blows over the ice and out of the tube.

2. Evaporative Cooler Systems For Temporary AC  

Evaporative coolers can also be a simple solution to cool your home. This can be something as simple as using a wet towel and placing it over a rack in front of a box fan. As the water evaporates, the air will cool. Hanging wet towels in window openings can also have this same effect.You can also buy small evaporative cooler units that look like a portable AC, if you do not want to go through the trouble of making your own. 

3. Good Ventilation For Cooling Your Home At Night

Good ventilation is essential for cooling your home. If your AC is out, you may want to try to air your home out at night when it is cooler. To help with this, you can use a fan in a window to help push the air through your home.  This works best if you have a window open in the front and back of your home to create a breeze.

4. Portable AC And Window Units To Cool Your Home

If none of the DIY solutions are right for you, or you have to have your room cool at night, you can use portable AC units or window air conditioning. These systems are mini AC systems that are meant to cool small spaces. For the portable units, you will want to make sure to drain the condensation reservoir or the unit will not work efficiently. This is the rubber plug at the bottom and in the back of the AC unit. Use a small bowl to catch the water to prevent it from getting on the floor. Window units do not have this feature because the water condensation drains outside.

With some of these solutions, you will be able to keep your home cooler during repairs to your AC. If you need to get your air conditioner working again, contact an HVAC contractor to see what needs to be done to get your AC cooling again.

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Addressing Questions About Common Problems With Air Conditioning Systems

Your home’s air conditioning is essential for keeping your home comfortable regardless of the outside temperature. Unfortunately, there are many homeowners that have a limited understanding of this part of their home, and this may result in these failing to understand some common air conditioning system problems. In particular, the following two questions are commonly asked by homeowners that are encountering issues with their units, and learning these answers may help you to address these problems before they have a chance to cause major issues for your home. 

Why Is Water Leaking From The Bottom Of The Air Conditioning Unit?

It is fairly common for homeowners to notice that water is leaking from the bottom of their air conditioning units. While this may seem like a minor problem, it can indicate major issues with your unit, and depending on the location of your air conditioner, it can also cause problems for your home. 

The leaking water is most often condensation that has collected on the interior of the air conditioner. Under normal conditions, a drip pan is in place to prevent this water from leaking, and if you have noticed this problem, you will need to inspect this pan. If it has rusted, it must be replaced, but other problems can often be corrected. For example, algae growth can fill this pan, which will prevent it from holding the right amount of water, and a thorough cleaning is often all that is needed in these instances. 

What Can Be Done For Mold Growing In The Air Conditioning Unit?

In addition it leaks, you may also encounter mold growing in the primary air conditioner unit and your ducts. This problem can be a major issue for your home because the location of the mold will help ensure that there are higher levels of spores in the air inside your home, which may cause severe health problems for you and your family.

Unfortunately, removing mold from these surfaces can be extremely difficult because they are difficult to reach. Yet, if a substantial amount of the mold is left behind, the problem will quickly return. Fortunately, a professional air conditioning technician has the equipment needed to reach all of the parts of your unit to thoroughly remove the mold before it can cause health problems. 

Your home’s air conditioning system is a critical component of keeping your house cool on a hot summer’s day. Yet, these units can encounter some problems that may cause complications for your home. By understanding what can be done about a leaking unit and mold growths, you should be better able to avoid these major problems with your system. 

To learn more, contact an air conditioning company like W.F. Hann & Sons

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About Me

So many of us make the mistake of assuming the air conditioning system is up and ready to go without having to do anything after a long winter. Unfortunately, oftentimes, this isn't the case. You know how I know that air conditioning systems need pre-summer maintenance? Well, I know because I broke my air conditioning unit trying to use it without even looking at it before starring it up for the first time. It was that moment that I learned a very valuable lesson the hard way. My blog will walk you through getting your air conditioner ready for summer without the expensive lesson that I had to learn.


November 2015
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