Why Preventative Maintenance is Needed

preventative maintenance

 

Preventative maintenance for your air conditioner is important. You will want to make sure you contact us so we can inspect it. If you are not sure how often the system should be tuned up, contact us. We can advise you on a regular schedule so your HVAC system is working efficiently. Annual preventative maintenance enables your system to use energy more efficiently. System maintenance includes cleaning the cooling coils, blades and other components. Clean cooling coils generate cool air more efficiently. The system uses less energy to produce cool air, costing you less to operate the unit.

Extending the System’s Life

Regular maintenance will keep your system running well over its entire lifecycle. One of the main reasons that HVAC systems fail before the end of their estimated lifecycle is because of lack of maintenance. Maintain your system each year and your system will maintain your comfort for years to come.

Improves Air Quality

As you use your air conditioning system over the season, dirt and debris collect inside the cages and components of the unit. These can be released into the air inside your home, decreasing the quality of the indoor air. When you have routine maintenance performed, the technician cleans the dirt and debris so that the particulates do not pollute the indoor air.

Less Repairs

When you have your heating system and air conditioner regularly maintained, you reduce the chances that you will face a costly emergency repair in the future. We can check for damaged or worn parts and will notify you of any need for a part replacement. You can replace the part to prevent further damage and avoid a possible emergency call. Also cleaning and maintenance will also extend the life of your compressor. The compressor is a major component of the system and can be a very costly repair. With heavy use, dirt and film collect on the cleaning coils. Dirty cleaning coils cause the compressor to work harder to compress the refrigerant. By having the coils cleaned during annual air conditioner maintenance, you can reduce the demand on the compressor and avoid a major repair.

 

What is a Sump Pump in your Home?

sump pump

Do you have a sump pump?  Depending where you live, you may or may not. This is usually determined if you are in an area where flooding occurs. It could also be if you have issues with quick melting snow or heavy rainstorms. It does not take much water to cause thousands of dollars of damage, and if you have a damp basement, mold can be a serious problem. A good sump pump can be worth it.

What it is

Sump pumps are pumps that are located in your basement or crawlspace. They are designed to prevent excess rain or ground water from entering the house. While there are portable versions, most residential sump pumps are installed in pits, called sump pits, and help to keep your basement dry by pumping the water out of the pit, away from your house.

Location

A sump pump is a normally installed in the lowest part of your basement, or in a crawlspace. A hole is cut in the concrete floor, and the pump is placed in the sump pit.  A pipe is attached, which then runs up, and out of the house, and releases the water several feet away from the foundation. The pipe usually has a check valve which prevents water from flowing back into the pit. When there is a flood, excess rainfall, or water from rapidly melting snow, instead of leaking into your house through any tiny cracks, it flows into the sump pit. Sump pumps are activated by a float, similar to the one in your toilet tank. When the water in the pit causes the float to rise to a certain level, the pump is activated.

How they work

Most pumps have a fan-like device, or impeller, which spins once the pump is activated. This uses centrifugal force, which pushes the water out through the pipe. If you are not sure if you need a sump pump, make sure to contact us. We can inspect your home and advise you on if one may be needed. When there is an issue, it is best to fix it immediately. By doing so, you can help save time, money, and stress in the long run.

Furnace Noises you might hear

furnace noises

 

Furnace noise should not be ignored if you hear them. Heating systems are an important part of your home. They help keep you and your family members warm during the cold winter months. It is important to understand when your heating system might be in need of repairs.  A common sign that your system might need repairs is when you hear the system making strange noises.  It is important to catch the need for repairs in time to have them fixed before they cause larger, more complicated issues.

Grinding furnace noises

If you are hearing a grinding noise, this can be a common noise heard from a heating system that is having problems functioning properly.  When you hear a grinding noise, it usually means that some of the parts in your heating system might be scraping against other parts in the system. The grinding noises could also be a sign that a bent fan blade is striking a metal component that is nearby, a part of the motor could be overheating, or a piece of debris could also be stuck in the blades of the fan.

Banging sounds

A loud banging noise coming from your heating system could mean that your radiator is broken or not functioning properly.  Replacing a radiator can be very expensive. It can also be time consuming. You will want to be sure you investigate a banging noise immediately.  A banging noise that occurs when the heat kicks may mean the radiator is in need of repairs.

Humming noise

Another common noise heard from a defective heating system could be a humming noise.  A common cause of this type of noise could be caused by a few things. One is that the heating system is working too hard and might be in danger of shutting down.  The humming can be caused by the motors in the fan. It could also be another part of the heating system working too hard. The noise could be from the job it is designed for. If you notice an odd noise or anything out of the norm, make sure to contact us. We can inspect the furnace and HVAC system for you.

Reasons Why the Thermostat May not Work

If your thermostat is having problems, whether it’s new or old, call us to help. Before jumping to the conclusion that your furnace is broken, know that it could be a malfunctioning thermostat, among other things, from heating and cooling systems that seem to have failed to an overworked system or duct work that needs attention. Most thermostat issues aren’t major issues so chances are, that caught early, it’s not going to be an emergency.

Check the power source. Your thermostat may just not be connected right or at all. A blown fuse, tripped circuit breaker or dead batteries will prevent the thermostat from turning on your furnace. Clean up any dust, dirt, spider webs and other debris. Any of these things can coat the inside of the thermostat and interfere with both electrical and mechanical functions of the thermostat. Put this on your get-ready-for-winter cleaning list. Just use a soft, clean brush to clean the inside components gently. Don’t get anything wet. Also you can use a can of compressed air, such as is used for electronics, to clear debris.

Check for any loose wires or terminal screws inside the thermostat. Make sure wires aren’t corroded or detached. Never remove the thermostat cover without removing the batteries or turning off the power at the fuse or breaker box. Tighten screws and secure loose wires if needed.

It may be time to replace your thermostat is it’s old. They aren’t meant to last forever and an old thermostat may be costing you a lot of money in wasted energy and time spent tinkering with an outdated model. There are great programmable thermostats available now that are easy to use and simple to connect to your existing HVAC system. With any issue you start to notice, make sure to contact us so we can inspect the system for you.

 

Why Programmable Thermostats are Beneficial in your Home

 

Everything we have nowadays is “smart.” From our phones to our TV’s, the options are endless! So, of course, “smart” thermostats exists. We understand that with a hectic lifestyle, sometimes the smallest things can be a hassle. Programmable thermostats work to make your life a little bit easier. With the constant and drastic change of our weather, scheduling your thermostat can go a long way in keeping your home comfortable.

Saving Time

Instead of manually making changes to your thermostat, you can program it for different times and days. Program it to warm up your house 30 minutes before you get up, or program it to lower the temperature 5 minutes after you leave to work. Instead of having to do it yourself and maybe forgetting about it, you can program it in advance.

Energy Efficient

Instead of running your thermostat all day, programming it for the times that you actually need it can save up to 30% on energy costs. A lower electricity bill is always a good thing! Plus, the use of less energy is good for the environment. If you are noticing an increase in your monthly energy bill, make sure to look into a programmable thermostat.

Reduce Wear and Tear

By setting your thermostat automatically for the times you do use it; saves time, money, and extends the life of your heating and cooling system. Of course, we want you to use your heating and cooling for whenever you need it, but programming it avoids unnecessary use. The less wear on your system; the more use you will get out of it. This means fewer repairs and more savings. There are countless options to choose from when it comes to programmable thermostats. Depending on your needs, you can choose a thermostat that tracks your energy use, manages your indoor air quality, reminds you to replace your filters, etc. There are many of thermostats to choose from. Programmable thermostats are the future and the best way to keep your energy costs low. If you want to install a programmable thermostat in your home or you have questions about the features, give us a call.

 

The Benefits of Having Cleaner Air in your Home

 

Having a tight home is essential for energy-efficiency, but it can also cause poor indoor air quality if air pollutants are not properly filtered out. Pet dander and dust mites in the home can cause allergy and breathing problems, and more and more homeowners are looking for ways to improve air quality for themselves and their families.

Whole-home air-cleaning systems are increasingly popular and can be incorporated into almost any HVAC system—whether a new build or a retrofit—and are available in various sizes, types and price ranges.

One of the most economical options is an electrostatic recessed air cleaner. Designed to be low profile, these air cleaners look like register vents. They are concealed within a return air box and installed inconspicuously in a ceiling or a wall. The units are not tied to the HVAC system, so the installation takes only a few minutes. As air passes through the return vent, particulates and gases are trapped and filtered by the polarizing process in the core and an activated carbon filter. The core captures particles using a non-ionizing process; this means no creation of potentially harmful ozone. These types of cleaners are easy to maintain, requiring only a simple cleaning and replacement of the filter every 30 to 60 days. Other high-end electrostatic air-cleaning systems can be tied directly to the HVAC system and mounted between the air handler and the return ductwork.

When it comes to improving indoor air quality, whole-home air cleaners are powerful tools. With so many options available, you can also contact us, and we can advise you which one may be best for your home and lifestyle.

 

Why Changing the Filter is Important

There are a number of different types of filters available on the market, each offering different benefits, but the fact remains that all types of filters need to checked, maintained and changed in order to function properly and safely.

First of all, a clogged air filter can cause extensive damage to your system. If you check your air filter’s condition regularly, you ensure the longevity of your system, saving yourself thousands in possible repair and replacement costs. Dirt and neglect are one of the leading causes of heating and cooling systems failing, yet such failure is completely avoidable.

Changing the air filter in your system ensures cleaner, fresher, healthier air. This is better for everyone in your home, particularly children and the elderly, and most especially for those suffering from allergies or asthma. A clean air filter means you are not constantly circulating dust, dust mites, pollen and other small particles in the air. Instead, your system will be able to purify the air, leaving it clean and healthy.

Besides protecting the HVAC system from unnecessary damage, cleaning out or changing a clogged air filter will also save you a significant amount on operating costs. In simplest terms, a dirty air filter uses much more energy than a new, clean air filter, which means a much higher electricity bill for you. You can, by keeping your air filter clean and in good condition, save up to 15% on utility costs.

An air filter that is clogged means a harder working HVAC system, thus it also means a lot of carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gasses by extension being released. Something as simple as changing an air filter regularly can go a long way in making a difference. If you need to know how often to change the filter, make sure to contact us and we can advise you on a schedule that is beneficial for you and your home.

Improve the Air in your Home

 

If you think of pollution as something that happens outside, you might be surprised to learn that indoor air pollution can actually be worse than the grime and smog that occurs outdoors. In fact, those same energy-efficient, wonderfully-sealed windows that help keep pollutants out also help keep pollutants in. Dust mites, pet dander, chemicals from fragrances and cleaners, even chemicals from new paint, furniture and carpets can all accumulate to become harmful to your health, especially if you suffer from respiratory issues or allergies.

Warmer months bring higher humidity, and while we may go to great lengths to increase humidity during winter, too much humidity is bad for your health, too. Excess moisture in the air can lead to mold, which is a hazard even to the healthiest among us. For the very young or old, for those with compromised respiratory systems or illnesses, and for those who suffer allergies, mold can lead to serious respiratory complications. Increased moisture leads to an increase in bacteria, and it can also lead to the growth of dust mites.

If you have pets, summer is the time of year you probably find yourself following your four-legged friends around with a vacuum cleaner. During warmer months, pets shed more profusely, leading to an increase in airborne allergens like dander.

It’s a good idea to follow some simple precautions to keep air free of excessive pollutants, like making sure you keep pets groomed, vacuum often, and be sure to change the filters on your HVAC system regularly. You can also take advantage of HVAC technology to substantially reduce particles that contribute to indoor air pollution, respiratory problems and allergies, including UV lights and air purification systems.

The challenge inherent in air conditioning units is that the coil is perpetually wet, which can make it a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. To combat this, you can have UV lights installed inside your ductwork, the purpose of which is to disrupt the damp, dark environment loved by mold and bacteria. The UV rays also damage the physical structure of biological pollutants, preventing them from growing and multiplying, which is why hospitals use UV light to protect against infectious diseases. Another option is to use an air purification system, which will reduce airborne mold and bacteria particles. A good air purifier can eliminate as much as 99% of these harmful particles.

Some air purification systems use electrostatic precipitators to put an electrical charge on particles that are then trapped on collector plates that act as magnets. This works well for odors, too, because it can trap smoke particles that can pass through media filters. If you have any questions about your current HVAC system, or a new one, make sure to contact us.

Keeping your Home Cool and Comfortable

 

HVAC units are not all about the cold or warm air that is pumped into your home. Whether you need air conditioning repairs or you want to install a new system, you want to be sure that you understand more about HVAC units and their options to be sure that you will get maximum value from the money that you are spending. From indoor air cleaners to solar heating and cooling to hybrid systems and more, you want to do your research to ensure that you will get what you want and what you are paying for. If you are considering purchasing a new HVAC unit or are thinking about repairing your own, you want to understand more about the systems in general. This can go a long way to allowing you to get the most value from the system that you choose, as well as get the system that you will be most comfortable with.

 

Ductwork is the foundation of any HVAC unit, unless you have a ductless air conditioning system, as it is the conduit in which your air travels from the unit into your home or business. Having the ducts in the right location in your rooms can make the difference between keeping your home cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Duct cleaning can keep these ducts efficient for your use and make sure that you have the best chance possible at keeping your home or business in a comfortable temperature zone.

 

The energy that your HVAC unit will run on is another decision maker that you will have to consider. Whether you choose energy-efficient boilers, a geothermal heating and cooling system, or a solar heating and cooling system, you will want to be sure that you consider your needs as your wants as far as energy usage. Whether you choose a system that will work entirely on alternative energy or you choose one of the many hybrid systems, you will find one that will work great for you.

 

Some optional things that you will want to consider in an HVAC unit are indoor air cleaners, in-floor heating, comfort zone finder, and more. While you may think that these are not necessary options, you may be surprised by how much that they can add to your home. Keeping the air clean can help to keep everyone healthier, while having a comfort zone finder can help you to save money on your electrical costs. If you are tired of your feet being cold when you walk around during the winter, in-floor heating may be something you want to consider. By thinking about your family and your life, you will be able to determine which optional features you want to include.

Efficient ways to Keep your Home Cool in the Summer

Keeping your home at an ideal comfort level is important. Heat pumps, furnaces, electronic zoning, air exchangers, and ground source heat are just a few of the terms that you may hear when you are trying to choose a new heating and cooling system for your home. While you may think that it is one size fits all in HVAC units, this is not the case anymore. There are a wide variety of different units of all different types and sizes to allow you to find the one that will work best for your needs and your wants. Heat pumps can provide year round performance to help keep your home cool during the summer months and warm during the winter months. Heat pumps can move heat energy from one location to another and when it is time to cool the home, it works almost like a regular air conditioner to add cool air into the home. It is a more energy efficient way to heating and cooling a home than a regular HVAC unit.

 

A geothermal heating and cooling system works by converting the energy found within the heat inside the Earth to help to heat and cool your home. This is an energy efficient method of keeping your home comfortable, simply by using the heat energy in the Earth. The temperature inside the Earth is relatively constant and this can be used to help heat and cool your home. Geothermal is an energy source that people do not really know much about, but it can be a very viable option.

 

A hybrid system can take the best of the heat pump and the electric world and combine it in a heating and cooling system. If you are not sure that you want to go with a heat pump alone, a hybrid heating and cooling system can be a great choice for you to consider. It is energy efficient and can offer you the power and the capacity that you are looking for to keep your home comfortable, no matter how hot or cold it gets over the year.

 

If you want to keep your garage comfortable to help you to be able to work out there year around, you will want to consider a ductless air conditioning system or a heat pump. The fact that you do not have to have a duct system can make it a great choice for a garage or for an outbuilding that you want to be able to use all of the time. Anytime you notice something out of the norm with your HVAC system, make sure to contact us. We can inspect the air conditioner and other parts to ensure they are working correctly and efficiently.