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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Get Rid Of The Household Allergens And Get Rid Of The Sneezing

If you have seasonal allergies, you should at least be able to enjoy your own home without sneezing. Unfortunately, allergens can accumulate in your home, too. Here are the areas in your house most likely to contain allergy-triggering substances and how to get rid of them so you can breathe freely in your home.   

Humidity, Mold and Mildew

If your house is airtight, you’re better able to control the temperature throughout the year. But an airtight house also holds in the moisture which allows mold and mildew to grow. The humidity levels in the walls, basement, bathroom and laundry room can rise if your house is not allowed to air out. When mold grows in these areas, it releases spores which you breathe in and cause an allergic reaction.

Always run the exhaust fan when using the tub or shower in the bathroom. Keep the basement dry with a sump pump or dehumidifier. Install an exhaust fan in the laundry room and have it on when the washer and dryer are running. Make sure there are no leaks in the dryer vent that might put moisture back into the air. If you have frequent, recurring problems with mold and mildew, consider a whole-house humidifier to keep the moisture in the air under control.

Pollen, Dust and Pet Hair in the Heating and AC Ducts

During the weeks or months when you don’t run the furnace or AC, allergens will settle into the ductwork throughout the house. If you turn the system on and you begin to sneeze, that’s a good sign that your ducts need a good cleaning. Have a heating and air conditioning service clean out the ductwork before you turn on the AC in the spring. They will vacuum and brush out the air intake, blower motor, and all ductwork. They should change the filter, too.

If you have persistent allergies to substances in the air, change the air filter in your HVAC system frequently. If you use a HEPA filter to remove small particles and pet dander from the air, change that filter more often. As it becomes dirty, your system must work harder to push air through the filter, putting additional stress on the blower motor. Contact a local HVAC contractor, such as Allzone Air Conditioning & Heating Corp, for further assistance.

Allergens in the Carpet

Your carpeting also collects dust, pollen, and pet hair that is kicked up into the air when you walk across it. Remove your shoes when entering your house so as not to track in allergens. Or buy a dirt-collecting door mat and thoroughly brush off your shoes before entering. Vacuum carpets frequently and shampoo them a couple of times each season. If you have severe allergies, consider pulling up the carpets and keep the hardwood floors to minimize the allergens in your home.

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Two Ways To Improve The Performance Of Your AC Unit

During the summer, a constant battle rages on within the walls of your home. This article is not talking about bored children finding something to do and the parents left with the task of cleaning up after their messes. No, I’talking about the battle between heat gain and your air conditioner. The life of an air conditioner would be peaceful, even blissful, if not for the infiltration of heat through the windows and roof of your home. While an AC unit can run harder and longer to combat the advances of heat into a home, the homeowner is left to fund the battle. If you want to keep your monthly cooling bills down, there are at least two things you can do to beef up your home’s defenses and relieve the strain on your AC unit.

Trade out Your Asphalt-Shingle Roof for a Metal Roof

Asphalt is not a very reflective material. The dull, black color will absorb the sun’s rays and convert them to heat. In fact, an asphalt shingle roof can easily reach temperatures of 150 degrees. While the insulation in your attic will prevent some of this heat from reaching the interior of your home, you still have to contend with some heat gain through your attic. A metal roof will reflect the sun’s energy away from your home, keeping your roof and your home cooler, which will help to decrease your cooling costs by up to 25%

Install Low-E Window Film

The sun’s UV rays can easily pass through your home’s windows, and once inside they will heat up the interior surfaces of your home. These surfaces will then radiate heat, and this radiant heat will not easily pass through your windows. The net effect is that the temperature inside of your home will increase. You can buy low-e window film which will help to filter out UV rays before they enter your home. In fact, window film can decrease the strain on your AC unit by 23%.

If you are worried about paying too much to cool your home, the problem may not lie with your air conditioner. Instead, you should look at your home’s defenses against heat gain. Two of the weakest points in your home will be the roof, which receives a direct onslaught of solar rays throughout the day, and your windows, which provide a direct passageway for UV rays to reach the interior of your home. Luckily, there are steps you can take to give your AC unit a fighting chance, and better AC performance means lower costs for you, the homeowner.

To get in touch with a heating and cooling professional, contact a company such as Dodds Heating & Cooling.

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Tips For New Homeowners On When To Replace A Furnace

When you are a homeowner, you are responsible for replacing appliances. Renters do not have to worry about the maintenance or lifespan of large appliances, such as heaters. Therefore, when it comes to knowing when to replace something, the answer is sometimes a little convoluted. This is often the case with furnaces. Here are some hints for new homeowners on when it is best to replace a heater, rather than repair it.

Old Age

If your furnace has been properly maintained, it can live up to 20 years. Proper maintenance includes changing the filter once a month during the winter, as well as checking it before the cold hits. You also should have a professional clean your furnace once a year. They will also make sure everything is properly lubricated, allowing your motor to run as efficiently as possible. When your furnace is reaching the end of the peak years, it may be better to replace it instead of sinking more money into it.

Increased Cost of Maintenance

As your furnace ages, it is more likely to break down. As mentioned above, if your furnace is getting older, it may be more cost effective to replace it. That is because repairs will become more frequent. The best way to determine if you should repair a furnace or replace it is to look at the cost of the repair and compare it to the cost of a replacement. If the cost of a repair is at least half of the cost of a new furnace, it is best to just replace the furnace. This will help save money on repairs, as well as keep your level of frustration lower.

Decrease in Efficiency

As furnaces become older, they will lose their efficiency. The easiest way to determine if the efficiency of your furnace has decreased is to look at your energy bill. If your bill has begun to rise, then it is time to do something about the heater. In addition, you may be able to find deals that will help lower your utility bill, but also give you tax credit. Many companies partner with the government and utility companies to provide incentives to purchase appliances that are more energy efficient and better for the environment. It will help to sit down with a professional to determine what offers are available, to see if the cost of a new furnace is the best option, and if so, which one to buy.

To determine whether it is time to replace your furnace or repair it, you will need to take all of these factors into consideration. As a new homeowner, it is best to find a professional that you trust to help determine what is best for your house, based on the furnace you currently have. For more information, contact a service like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating.

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Benefits Of Regular Air Conditioner Maintenance And Tune-Up Services

If your air conditioner breaks during the hot months of the summer, you might spend several sweltering days before you can get someone out to fix it. This can be a very uncomfortable time in your home as there will be no refuge from the heat. Instead of having your air conditioner break down during the summer months, you should have someone come and look at it in the early spring when the weather is still cool. Regular maintenance and a tune-up will help to ensure that the air conditioner is working throughout the summer months without any problems. What should you expect from a regular tune-up?

1. Extend AC Life. By having regular maintenance done and getting an annual tune-up for your air conditioner, you will help prolong the life of the air conditioner. This is because it is properly taken care of. Moving parts are lubricated, evaporators and condensers are cleaned, electrical connections are secured and any loose parts are tightened. This prevents the air conditioner from breaking down earlier which would cause it to not last as long.

2. Conserve Energy and Save Money. One of the best reasons to have regular maintenance done on your air conditioning unit is because it will conserve up to 15-25% more energy. This can translate into hundreds of dollars every year in cost savings. Spending a small amount on a regular tune-up can save you a lot of money over the course of the year and leave less of a footprint on the environment.

3. Decrease Costly Repairs. Because an air conditioner has so many moving parts and components, they can become run down over time. This can lead to very costly repairs. Instead, annual maintenance can catch these problems before they get out of hand and get them fixed.

4. Cooler Air during Peak Summer Season. An air conditioner that is not tuned up and not running efficiently is going to end up outputting warmer air. In the peak summer months, you will want the air coming out of the vents to be as cold as possible. A tune-up will inspect the coolant to make sure it is at the proper level. The whole air conditioner will be fixed up and repaired so that the air coming out is as cold as possible.

These are just a few of the reasons why you will want to consider getting into the habit of having a company come and tune-up your air conditioner on an annual basis. For more information, contact a company like Weather Control Air Conditioning, Inc.

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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.


July 2015
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