How To Prevent Mold In Your Window Air Conditioner

Window air conditioners provide climate control to a single room within a house or apartment. However, due to humidity and the fact that their interiors provide a dim, cool environment, mold can begin to grow within your window air conditioning unit over time. This can cause a number of health problems, and aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma and allergies. Thankfully, there are a couple of things that you can do to prevent the growth of mold within your window air conditioner unit.

Constant Use

Making sure that your window air conditioner is running fairly regularly ensures that it receives a proper amount of ventilation. If you leave your air conditioner off, especially for more than a day, humidity can begin to build within the unit and your home, leading to mold growth. In order to prevent this, you should always have your air conditioner left on the “auto” mode, even if you’re not at home, as this will allow air to flow through the unit and prevent mold from taking root.


It’s a good idea every few months (or more often, depending on your climate and usage), to open up your window air conditioning unit and wipe down the surfaces inside. Simply unscrew the screen on the inside of the unit, and use a paper towel with a commercial cleaner or warm water and soap to wipe away any dirt or signs of mold growth to prevent an infestation from developing.

Dust Removal

Another key way of preventing mold from growing in your window air conditioner is the regular removal of dust, both from the unit and from your home. Dust acts as organic matter which promotes the growth of mold. Make sure to regularly vacuum your home, and clean out the air filter within your air conditioner to ensure that dust does not build up within your unit. You can clean out the air filter by sliding it out of the casing, which is usually clearly marked on your unit and requires no special tools to remove.

Reduce the Humidity

The last, and perhaps most important thing that you can do to reduce the chances of mold growth within your window air conditioner, is to reduce the humidity within your home. You can do this in several ways: by opening the windows to allow more ventilation into your home, by turning on your moisture control setting on your air conditioning unit, or by installing a portable dehumidifier within your home to reduce the overall amount of moisture in the air.

For more information, contact a business such as Allied Mechanical & Electrical, Inc.

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Squashing The Most Common Myths Concerning Ductless Mini Split Heating And Air Systems

With an array of fitting applications and a good reputation for energy efficiency, ductless mini split heating and air systems seem like a logical choice for homeowners. Even though you may have heard about the advantages of these modern systems, you may be hesitant to make the change in your own home. This hesitation usually comes from prevailing myths surrounding these systems. To better understand if a ductless mini split system is the right fit for you and your home, it is best to get these nagging misconceptions out fo the way right off the bat.

Myth: Ductless mini split systems are only feasible for small homes or apartments.

Fact: One basic mini split system is usually enough to heat and cool one small area. However, a mini split system can actually be fitted with multiple indoor handling units, each with their own functioning power for heating and cooling the space. So even if your home is rather large, you may be able to make the switch to a ductless mini split system. You will just have more than one operating unit placed throughout the house.

Myth: Ductless mini split systems require creating a gaping hole in the exterior of your home for installation. 

Fact: It is true that a ductless mini split system needs an access point that leads to the outdoors on an exterior wall, but this access point does not mean there will be a need for a major structural change or cutout. In fact, according to the website, all that is typically required to connectthe indoor unit to the exterior housing is a hole that is about three inches in diameter. This small hole is used to run conduit through to keep both sections of the unit connected.

Myth: Energy efficiency with ductless mini splits comes mainly from how it operates.

Fact: Ductless mini splits are energy efficient because of the fact that they operate as a heat pump, using already present cool and warm air to change the climate inside your home. However, this is not the only reason these modern units are efficient. The fact that these systems do not utilize a duct system is more than just a benefit because of easy installation, this also means little air or heat loss during operation. In traditional heating and cooling systems, the treated air must make it through a series of ducts before it is distributed, and a lot of that air and heat is lost in the process. Talk to a contractor, like Seliga Heating and Cooling, for more help.

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Maintenance You Should Perform To Reduce The Frequency Of AC Repairs

If you use an air conditioner in your home, you not only have to worry about the cost of operating your unit, but you also have to worry about the cost of maintaining and repairing your furnace. With all of the bills and unexpected expenses that the typical homeowner has to contend with, you might be tempted to eliminate costs wherever you can. You should not, however, neglect maintenance to save money in the short run because a poorly maintained system can increase operating and repair costs. In particular, make sure you take care of the filter, the ducts, and the condenser unit. 

Filter Maintenance

If you try to get more life out of your filter, you can starve your evaporator for air. When this happens, there is not enough air flowing over the evaporator fins to prevent them from freezing the water vapor present in the air in your home. As ice builds up on your coils, it will cut off air flow. Furthermore, a dirty filter can increase your operating costs by as much as 15%. At the least, you should replace your filter every three months, but if you are renovating your home, or you have a lot of dust in and/or around your home for whatever reason, you might need to replace your filter more frequently. 

Leaky Ducts

As your fan pushes air through your ducts, it creates outward pressure on your ducts. This pressure combined with a constant cycle of cooling when your AC unit turns on and heating when it turns off, will cause the joints and seams in your ducts to degrade until leaks form. As these leaks siphon off air from your system, they can decrease the volume of air available to cool your home and, thus, reduce your system efficiency by up to 40%. If you have exposed ducts, you can check for your own leaks with a stick of incense and seal the leaks you find with duct mastic. However, if your ducts run behind drywall, then you will need to contact professionals to check them for you. 

Dirty Condenser Coils

Condenser coils can get clogged with dirt and all kinds of yard debris. Dirty condenser coils can decrease your system efficiency by up to 37%. Use a commercially available coil cleaner and a stiff-bristle brush to remove stuck-on grime and keep your system running at its optimum level. 

As the above examples indicate, a poorly maintained AC system will reduce system efficiency, which increases your operating costs. While the immediate cost of not taking care of your system is that you pay more from month to month to keep your home cool, the longer and harder your system has to run, the more wear it incurs, and the more you have to pay for repairs. Thus, proper maintenance is the key to a healthy AC system and a healthy budget. Contact an HVAC contractor, like one from HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, for more information.

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Common Causes For Air Conditioning Problems

If you’ve been having some problems with your air conditioning lately, then you might be getting frustrated. After all, some problems can be extremely hard to identify and fix, especially if you are trying to handle everything on your own. However, the right knowledge can often mean all the difference in the world, potentially allowing you to fix your air conditioning problems cheaply and quickly. Here are some of the most common reasons why your air conditioner might not be operating as efficiently as possible:

Too Much Dirt

Firstly, you might just have a dirty air conditioner. Over time, dirt, dust, and debris can build up in your air conditioner, which can collectively reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner. These materials can absorb a lot of heat and inhibit airflow, both of which can lead to a lot of wasted effort on the part of your air conditioner. Since it will need to work overtime to overcome these obstacles, you will end up paying more in electricity and possibly even repair fees, since your AC will wear down at a faster rate.

In order to combat this problem, you need to make sure that you clean out your air conditioner every once in a while. During periods of intense usage, make sure to clean it out at least once a month, but you can slow down during the winter.

Leaking Refrigerant

The refrigerant plays a crucial role in your air conditioner, and if there isn’t enough refrigerant, then you won’t get the output that you want. If there is a leak in your air conditioner, then you might be losing refrigerant very quickly, which means that your AC is losing its potential to cool your home.

However, identifying and fixing a refrigerant leak isn’t quite as easy as you might expect. To handle such a problem, you really want to have an expert available, since refrigerant is both dangerous and expensive. If you suspect that you do have a refrigerant leak, then you should consult a professional at the earliest opportunity.

Broken Sensors

You might also be dealing with a broken sensor, which could prevent your AC from turning on in the first place. Air conditioners rely on a specific detection system for figuring out what the temperature is in your home, and if that system is giving incorrect readings, then the air conditioner might not even get a signal to turn on.

The sensor in the air conditioner can be damaged, but that damage should also be fairly obvious. If you notice any damage to the sensor, then you could consider getting a replacement or repairs.

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Why You Should Consider Heating Your Home With Natural Gas

When it comes to heating your home, there are a number of different types of energy to choose from. Electricity, natural gas, propane, and heating oil are all viable options, which can make it pretty hard to choose one. However, each type of energy is uniquely suited to a different purpose, which means that some options might be ideal for your current situation, while others might be more expensive or unwieldy than you might want. To help you make a decision on what type of energy to use, here is an overview of how natural gas can be used to heat your home, along with its advantages:

How can gas be used to heat your home?

In short, natural gas can be ignited, which produces a lot of heat. This heat is then added to some air, which is then distributed throughout your home. This may sound similar to gasoline, but natural gas is transported in gas form, rather than liquid form. This does lead to an interesting problem, since natural gas is much less energy-dense than gasoline or propane. Therefore, it’s not particularly viable to buy containers of natural gas.

Instead, natural gas is distributed in a complex and widespread system of pipes. This is similar to electricity in terms of size and scope, since many homes and buildings have access to both natural gas and electricity.

Can gas be used to heat individual rooms?

Natural gas can be used to heat your home in a variety of ways, such as being used in a central furnace that pushes the air into your ventilation.

While you might have used natural gas for your stove or central heater in the past, you might be surprised to learn that you can actually use natural gas for certain space heaters as well. Just like an electric space heater needs to be plugged into an outlet in order to function, a natural gas space heater will need to be hooked up to a gas outlet in order to function.

What is the biggest advantage of natural gas?

Natural gas is one of the most popular heating options available today, and for good reason. Natural gas distribution pipelines are everywhere, which means that there is a very good chance that your home has easy access to natural gas. This results in an easily accessible source of heat that ends up being extremely cheap.

With natural gas, you will probably end up paying less than half of what you would pay for a comparable amount of heat with propane or heating oil. Even when it comes to electricity, natural gas will likely end up being 20-30% cheaper in the long run.

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How To Maintain An AC Fan

The fan on the condensing unit of an air conditioner is often the first thing that needs to be repaired. The fan is protected by a cage that is meant to keep out birds and rodents. However, the cage does not protect the fan from water, dirt and other debris that could ruin its functionality. After some time, your fan blades can get rusty. Also, the output vent leading to the fan compartment can get blocked. This article explains how to clean your fan blades and remove blockages from the vents. These repairs are more preventative. If you perform these regular maintenance tasks, you can ensure that your fan remains fully operational over the years.

Cleaning the Fan Blade

To access the fan compartment you need to remove the bird guard. This is very easy to do with a basic screwdriver. You might need a power drill to get the screws off though, especially if they are rusted. Use a powerful flashlight so you can have full visibility when working inside the compartment. If your fan blades show any signs of rusting, you will need to clean them with a rust remover. Then,  coat them with a metal rust protection solution. Both of these products are sold at home improvement stores. When you are cleaning your fan blades, inspect the main rod and bearings. Rusty bearings can cause your fan to spin incorrectly (and be noisy). Greasing the bearings is a great way to ensure that the blades spin as smoothly as possible.

Cleaning Vent Blockages

While the bird guard is removed from the unit, vacuum out the bottom of the compartment. Clean the floor of the compartment out so there is no debris. Then, from the outside of the unit, remove the hose coupling on the exterior side of the output. By loosening a hose clamp, you can easily remove the hose. This is where you are likely to find the most serious blockages. Shake the hose and listen for any debris inside it. Any debris that you remove will ultimately increase the productivity of your fan. By increasing the airflow into your home, you can usually adjust your thermostat by a couple of degrees.

Save a little bit of money and make sure that your AC is always fully functional by performing these basic maintenance tasks. Contact a local repair shop, like Tropic Air Conditioning INC, for more help.

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Conditions That May Cause Your Furnace To Smell Like It’s Burning

Your furnace is an essential part of your home and should provide you excellent comfort at all times. However, it also has ways of letting you something just is not right. You should take care of it as if it is a part of your family. In a way it is, because without it, how pleasurable would your time spent at home be if the weather is really cold?

Prepare it to Run Again

If the unit has been off all summer, you should check and be sure all of the vents are open. If the air is trapped, it can’t flow and may fill the air with a burning odor that can be very offensive.

A burning smell could be coming from a dirty furnace filter. These filters are essential for good air quality in your home. If one becomes dirty, the air cannot pass through the fibers. If this happens, a fire could be the result with the buildup of pollen, dust, and if you have a pet, pet dander. Your filter should be replaced every 30 to 60 days (depending on the type) to prevent these buildups from happening and possibly damaging your heating unit. It could also cause a fire, especially if you are not at home.

Dust in the combustion chamber may emit a burning smell if the furnace has not been operational for an extended amount of time. Dirt and dust may be caught in the combustion chamber, so when the unit is turned on the debris will flare up while producing a smoke odor. The blower unit will send the air through the duct work and deliver the nasty odor into your entire home. The smell should be eliminated quickly, but you could open a door or window to speed up the process.

Check the Blower and Electrical Components

A furnace blower is responsible for distribution of heat throughout your home. Another primary function is maintaining the furnace’s internal temperature, as with any fan unit. You should be sure it is operational.

Your furnace may have problems with its wiring or other similar electrical problems. This can be a huge risk and should not be ignored. An annual inspection is the best way to prevent a fire. A tune-up will include cleaning your burners and other components where dust and other substances may have gathered.

You should never ignore any smell the furnace produces. If it is a bad odor, it may be an indication something is seriously wrong with your unit. It is always a good idea to do yearly maintenance. It is better to be safe than sorry!

To learn more, contact a service like Winters Heating Cooling & Indoor Air Quality.

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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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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.


December 2016
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