Simple Repairs for Your Air Conditioning

3 Tips For Preparing Your Air Conditioning Unit For Winter

Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Preparing Your Air Conditioning Unit For Winter

Your air conditioning serves you well during the long summer months, but what do you need to do when it gets colder outside and you don’t need it anymore? It’s quite simple, actually, there are a few steps you can take now before putting your air conditioner to sleep for the winter that will keep it in optimal condition to tackle next summer when it is needed again. Here’s what you should do… Replace All Filters Filters can do a lot to make the air in your home nice and fresh, yet once filters become old and dingy, they can actually hinder the overall function of your air conditioning system. So, before laying your system to rest for the winter season, go ahead and replace all the filters in your system. Otherwise, when you start up they might be so caked that your unit doesn’t feel like it is running very well. So, before you forget, get on it now and replace the filters while you’re still somewhat using it.  Get Some Routine Maintenance No matter how hard you try, eventually every piece of machinery breaks down. The only way to avoid this eventuality is getting routine checks from licensed maintenance technicians. A surprisingly good time to do this is during the winter months, since this is often when a lull occurs in most HVAC repair service’s schedule. This way, you won’t be fighting a tight booking and you can get your unit fixed up from any problems it might have before it goes to sleep for the winter.  Clean Up Around Your Blower Unit Protecting your blower unit during the winter months is a crucial part of preventative maintenance as well. This part is quite simple in of itself, as you will merely need to go to your outdoor blower unit and give it a nice hose down as well as removing any debris from the fans. Just remember to power down your blower unit via the circuit breaker before cleaning and allow it to dry properly before turning it back on again. After you’ve got the unit squeaky clean, then it is just a matter of covering the top portion of it sealed somehow so animals or other debris can get inside the unit during the winter months.  So, if you follow the few handy tips above, your air conditioning unit should survive the winter months in perfect working order and awaken happily when it comes time to use it...

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Commercial HVAC Maintenance Is About More Than Temperature Control

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Commercial HVAC Maintenance Is About More Than Temperature Control

While a dirty home air conditioner may cause illness in several people, a poorly maintained commercial HVAC unit can potentially cause hundreds of people to become ill, and may even cause death. At the very least, it can cause customer and tenant dissatisfaction and complaints about things such as uncomfortable temperatures and foul odors. Proper regular professional HVAC maintenance can prevent a number of potentially dangerous problems. Airborne Illnesses When you mention air conditioning and illness in the same sentence, you can’t help but think of the outbreaks of Legionnaire’s Disease that have occurred over the years. The bacterium that causes this disease, Legionella, was first discovered in 1976 when an outbreak in a Philadelphia Legionnaire’s convention killed 34 people. These bacteria breed in water such as that found in evaporative condensers of modern air conditioning cooling towers. To prevent the growth of Legionella, commercial water towers should be disinfected, not simply cleaned, on a regular schedule.  Inconsistent Airflow In commercial buildings, there may be limited access to ductwork, especially between floors. This can make detecting leaks difficult and lead to hot and cold spots within the building. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that a standard ductwork system may lose up to 40% of its air from leaks. A commercial HVAC professional can locate and fix leaks before they become a serious problem for you, your customers or your tenants. Efficiency Loss An inefficient HVAC system can run up a substantial electric bill. Simply having a professional clean your condenser and evaporator coils twice a year can improve your efficiency up to 16%. Improperly operating dampers are another problem that can cost you money and affect indoor air quality. They need to be cleaned and well lubricated a few times a year to ensure optimal operation. Poor Indoor Air Quality and Odors Something as simple as a dirty air filter can drastically affect indoor air quality. Odors can be caused by stagnant condensed water, overheating, or melted debris on the heat exchanger. Indoor air pollution from dust and mold can contribute to respiratory illnesses such as asthma and emphysema, causing lost workdays and decreased productivity.  As you can see, a poorly maintained commercial HVAC unit can be costly in the long run. Most of the problems can easily be avoided by having regularly scheduled professional HVAC maintenance. Call a local HVAC specialist like Soco Air Conditioning to have your system thoroughly...

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Why Your Air-Conditioner Is Losing Its Efficiency, And What You Can Do About It

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Your Air-Conditioner Is Losing Its Efficiency, And What You Can Do About It

Has your air conditioner lost its efficiency? If your AC is not cooling or heating your house as well as it used to do soon after installation, but it is still running, then there is something interfering with its operations. Here are three common culprits of reduced AC efficiency, and how to combat them: The Evaporator Coils Are Dirty The air conditioner keeps your house cool by drawing heat from the air that blows over the evaporator coils. Different debris, such as dirt and pollen, may accumulate over the evaporator coils. Accumulated debris reduces the AC’s efficiency since it interferes with the airflow over the coils. Not only that, but the dirt may also make the air conditioner run hotter than normal, which reduces its useful life. Thus, regular cleaning of the evaporator coils is essential to maintain efficiency.   Leaking Ducts Air ducts are responsible for conditioning your house (heated or cooled) air around the home. Therefore, a leak in any part of the duct reduces the amount of conditioned air flowing around the house, which affects the efficiency of the AC unit. Since air can flow out of the smallest cracks or holes, and these ducts are usually hidden from view, you may be dealing with leaking air without knowing for a long time. Here are some of the symptoms that may point to leaking ducts: Some rooms are significantly cooler than others Some rooms are stuffy You can see tangled flexible ducts (for example in the crawlspace) Consult a technician to locate and plug the leaks. Low Refrigerant Levels The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air passing over the evaporator coils; this is how it cools the air. The continuous flow of the refrigerant is necessary to control your room temperature. This will not happen if the refrigerant level is inadequate. Apart from inefficient cooling, low refrigerant levels may also lead to compressor motor damage. This happens when the motor becomes overheated since the refrigerant supposed to cool it is inadequate. Have your air conditioner technician check your refrigerant levels, and any possible leakage, that may reduce your unit’s efficiency. This check is especially necessary with old ACs whose systems have degraded over the years. Most of these are problems that a maintenance technician will detect during routine servicing. Therefore, regular servicing and cleaning is necessary to maintain your air conditioner’s efficiency. Ask the air conditioning technician for other tips for maintaining your unit’s...

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3 Tips To Help Keep Your Furnace In Top Shape

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Help Keep Your Furnace In Top Shape

When the temperatures dip and it starts to get chilly outside, you want to make sure that the interior of your home is welcoming and cozy. Taking care of your furnace is a key part of this. Becoming aware of its regular noises is a good way to orient yourself to how well your heater is performing. You should also note temperature differences throughout your home when you run your furnace, as this can provide important clues about its performance. While professional repairs are sometimes necessary, there are things that you can do at home in order to keep your furnace in good running condition. Here are three tips to help keep your furnace in top shape.  Use a straw to keep dust away from the pilot light. Your pilot light provides clues about your furnace’s performance. Under good conditions, the pilot light should be a steady, small yellow tongue of flame with a wreath of blue. If there is an uneven mixture of chemicals or an obstruction, then the pilot light appears to be a wavering, sickly yellow flame. You can help keep dust and grime from clogging your pilot light by using a drinking straw to blow dust away from it. Be careful to blow the dust gently away from the flame, and do not blow in its direction, or else you may blow it out. Change or wash the air filter every few weeks. The air filter helps to keep your heater’s ducts clean, therefore sparing your home from dust and grime that travels through the vents. The air filter needs to be replaced or washed every few weeks, especially when you are running your furnace frequently. Pleated paper air filters should be replaced by ones of the same size and ideally the same brand. Permanent filters should be washed with mild soap in warm water and left to dry flat. They may also be washed in the dishwasher as long as the heating cycle is off. Have a maintenance service call once a year. You should have an HVAC specialist (such as one from Allied Air Conditioning & Heating Corp) out to service your heater once a year, ideally before temperatures start to dip in the autumn. This yearly service call allows the specialist to identify any underlying issues with your furnace that you might not have been able to identify otherwise. While it may seem strange to have a specialist out when you do not know of any overt problems with your heater, having a yearly visit will save you money in the event a very large, costly repair comes to the...

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3 Reasons To Install Radiant Heating Systems

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons To Install Radiant Heating Systems

One of the best heating options at your disposal is radiant heating due to the large number of benefits that it can provide. A radiant heating system can provide an energy-efficient, low-maintenance, and healthy heating option.  Energy Efficient A radiant heating system can help you cut down on your home’s energy usage throughout the winter, mostly because the system is often divided into heating zones. A heating zone can comprise anything from all of the bedrooms in the home to simple zones that consist of only a single floor of your home. The benefit of a heating zone is that you can simply turn on your heater and activate a single heating zone in order to heat rooms that are in use. This is a big advantage over most other types of heating systems that will attempt to heat every room in the house regardless of whether the rooms are in use.  Low-Maintenance Another reason to consider a radiant heating system is because it can provide you with a low-maintenance heating system. With a forced-air heating system, maintenance will typically consist of keeping the ducts, vents, and furnace filter clean in order to keep the system working as well as possible. However, a radiant heating system will require less maintenance as the only component that will require regular maintenance is the boiler system that is responsible for providing hot water to the pipes underneath your floors and in your walls. If you opt for a radiant heating system that only uses electrical panels in your floors and walls instead of pipes, then your heating system will require even less maintenance as you will not need to maintain a boiler system.  Health Finally, a radiant heating system can help you make yourself and your family healthier by preventing your heating system from introducing dust or allergens into the air within your home, or of moving existing dust and allergens around your home. The primary reason for this is that a radiant heating system does not utilize fans or a duct system. As a result, there is no build up of dust and allergens within the ducts like you would find with a forced-air heating system, nor will there be a fan to spread those particles all over the house. Speak to a local HVAC contractor in order to discuss your radiant heating options. A radiant heating system is a great option for anyone who wants a healthier and more energy efficient home that does not require a lot of...

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2 Reasons To Consider A Generator As A Back Up For Your AC System

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Reasons To Consider A Generator As A Back Up For Your AC System

Most people take electricity for granted. But obstacles may arise that may prevent electricity from reaching your home, which could stop your air conditioning system from working. The following are two reasons a backup generator might be a good investment. A generator will also be a precautionary measure against power outages. A Few Power Enemies The following are a few things that may cause power outages: Outdated power grid or wiring Ice storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other severe weather Obstructions in your power grid’s transformers, like wildlife Backhoe errors that may stem from initial construction These are just a few things that could go wrong and cause you to lose power for some time, and a generator can help you prepare for any of the aforementioned possibilities.  1. Generator Will be a General Backup The first reason you should consider a generator is because it will help keep your air conditioning system on, as well as other gadgets and appliances, should you experience a blackout. But you will need to know how much power your home needs, including what your air conditioning system needs. Keep in mind that most air conditioning systems can easily demand 3,000 to 5,000 watts hourly. But you can talk to your HVAC specialist about the specific needs your generator must satisfy to buy the correct generator. 2. Your Safety A power outage could put you and your family in danger if you live in regions with extreme temperatures. Extreme temperatures, such as heat, can easily dehydrate you. The signs of dehydration are the following: Extremely yellow and somewhat smelly urine Dry mouth or dry eyes Nausea Lightheaded Muscle cramps Extremely cold temperatures could put you in danger as well, which could cause some of the following symptoms: Shivering that lessens or disappears even though the temperature has not changed Hunger Nausea Trouble speaking Lack of coordination Fatigue These are just some of the dangers related to extreme temperatures that you may be exposed to should you be caught without a generator, which should help keep your air conditioning system running during a power outage. You can talk to your generator specialist to find the right generator for your home, with a capacity that suits your needs best, as well as possibly purchasing a generator that is portable versus a more stable one. But, as you can see, a generator may be helpful if you have an emergency. Contact a business like Childers Enterprises Inc for more...

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How To Clean Your Ducts And Vents

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Clean Your Ducts And Vents

Your furnace and air conditioner rely heavily on a clean duct and vent system. When your ducts are clogged or dirty, the air in your home is gonna be dirty. Of course, if there is mold in your ducts, it can be harmful to your health. This is why it is so important to maintain clean ducts. This article explains how to clean the ducts and vents in your home. It is a simple project, but you might need to get a little creative with the tools you use. First, Remove and Clean the Vents The first thing you need to do is remove the vents from the wall. The vents are attached with just two screws, so this is easy. You’ll want to thoroughly clean most sides of the vents. If your vents are vinyl, plastic, PVC or fiberglass, you can clean them in the sink using dish soap. However, if they are wood or metal, you should just clean them off with a damp rag. Put your vents to the side and now take a look at your ducts. Second, Clean your Ducts Cleaning your ducts is easy, but you need some sort of tool to reach deep inside of them. You can get creative and use a long broom stick. If you have a telescoping duster or paint pole, these will work even better. One effective method is to wrap a small rag around the end of the pole and tape it down with duct tape. Get the rag a little wet, and then use the pole to wipe down the inside of the walls. You’ll definitely want a flashlight for headlamp in order to see deep inside the ducts. Take special care to clean the junctions of the ducts. You should also look for build-up near the outlets. There is often a gap between the duct and the drywall that is only accessible when the vents are removed from the wall. Take this time to clean out any dust that has build up in this crack. You might even want to fill the crack with foam insulation before you reach the vents. At this point, you can put the vents back on the wall. Run your furnace or air conditioner (depending on the season) and see if you can notice improved air flow. This simple project is a great way to make your air cleaner and possible save you money on your utility bills. While this is a good method for cleaning the outermost parts of your ducts, for an extensive, thorough cleaning, you’ll want to call a professional service like Mountain Air Comfort...

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For The Sake Of Your Health, Clean Your Ducts

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on For The Sake Of Your Health, Clean Your Ducts

Ducts may be hidden behind the walls of your home, but that does not mean that they cannot get dirty. Dirt can enter your ducts through the register—where air flows into your system—and when your system is off, contaminants can fall into your home through the vents. Once inside the ducts, contaminants can wreak all sorts of havoc on your home.  What Types of Contaminants Can Build up in Your Ducts? Whatever is present in the air in your home can build up in your ducts. The problem is that during the transition seasons when you don’t really need your AC or your furnace, these contaminants can fall in through your vents and build up in your ducts. What sorts of things do you have to worry about? Insect carcasses, mold spores, pet dander, pollen, dry skin cells, dust, dust mites, etc. Any one of these items can be irritating enough on their own, but when you mix them together, they can cause some serious problems. What Problems Can These Contaminants Cause? If you have allergies, then obviously any sort of allergen that can trigger a reaction is something that you don’t want to have in your ducts. Similarly, if you have asthma, you want to make sure the air you breathe is fresh and clean. On the the other hand, even you do not suffer from allergies or asthma, contaminants in your ducts can cause problems for you. Dirty ducts increase your risk of suffering from respiratory infections.  What to Do about Dirty Ducts? If you think you have dirty ducts, you should not try to take care of it on your own. The problem is that you will not have the reach or the power with a household vacuum to really clean your ducts. Furthermore, even if you could reach all the way down your ducts, some contaminants stay stuck onto your ducts and can only be loosened by scrubbing them off with a special brush. Thus, you should leave the work up to professionals. The money you pay will be worth the peace of mind that you get from knowing that you have clean ducts. You may be suffering from dirty ducts and not even know it. The problem is that dirty ducts are hidden behind the walls of your home. If you feel like the air quality in your home is not what it should be, it is time to have your ducts inspected and cleaned by a company like Crystal Coast Heating & Air LLC if...

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Steps To Take If Your Engagement Ring Falls Down The Drain

Posted by on Oct 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Steps To Take If Your Engagement Ring Falls Down The Drain

In addition to having great sentimental value, many engagement rings are quite expensive. So if your ring falls down the sink drain, it is natural to become very upset. If your engagement ring falls down the drain, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is lost forever. Take the following steps when your engagement ring goes down the drain: Immediately Turn Off the Water As soon as you notice that your ring went down the drain, it is essential to turn the water off right away. If you fail to do so, the force of the water could carry the ring away and force it down the pipes. You don’t have to turn off the water main to your home right away–just make sure that the faucet is completely off. Try Not to Panic Losing something valuable like an engagement ring is very stressful, and it in natural to panic in that situation. But when people panic it can often lead them to do things that actually make the situation worse instead of better. Try to stay calm and think things through instead of going crazy and making mistakes while trying to retrieve your ring. Call a Plumber While it is possible for you to gain access to your drain through the pipes under your sink, if you don’t know what you are doing, you can make things worse. This also requires special tools and skills, so your best bet is to call a plumber right away if your engagement ring goes down the drain. Jewelry that goes down the drain is often in the clean-out pipe, and a plumber will be able to access this area and pull your ring out. At this point, you will need to know where the water main to your house is, as you will need to shut off the water supply before your plumber does any work. If you lose your ring outside of business hours, don’t hesitate to contact an emergency plumber that provides service any time, day or night. If by some chance, your engagement ring in not in the clean-out pipe or did not get lodged in a bend of a pipe directly under the sink, a plumber will have the skills and tools to go deeper into your plumbing system to try to locate your ring. Try to hire a plumber who has many years of experience and has knowledge about retrieving jewelry that has passed beyond the clean-out pipe. For professional plumbing services, contact a company such as A Absolute Plumbing &...

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Three Reasons Your Steam Boiler System Is Heating Your Home Unevenly

Posted by on Oct 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Reasons Your Steam Boiler System Is Heating Your Home Unevenly

Do some of your rooms always seem to get warmer than others? Perhaps some of your steam radiators barely seem to get warm, while others become boiling hot. There are several possible reasons this might be happening. Here’s a look at three of the most common reasons why steam boiler systems heat unevenly and what you can do about them. There’s too much air stuck in the system. Your radiators should all have a little valve on the side. This valve is shaped like a little canister, and it has a hole in the top. It allows air to escape from the radiator as the steam fills it. If the valve becomes blocked, air cannot vacate the radiator and let steam inside. Check the radiators that don’t seem to be warming up fully and see if there is dirt or paint clogging the vent. Remove it with a wire; this is likely to solve your problem. The pipes are not insulated properly. Pipes leading from the boiler to your radiators must be well-insulated. Otherwise, the steam will cool down too much before it reaches the radiators, and it will condense into water. It is possible that your HVAC contractor did not apply enough insulation to some of the pipes, or that the insulation has fallen off. You’ll want to have an HVAC tech come to your house and examine the insulation if you suspect this may be the issue at hand, since the pipes are often found within walls and hard to access without the right equipment. Once the proper insulation is applied to the pipes, your home should heat more evenly. The pitch of the pipes is not correct. When a steam boiler system is first set up, the pipes are carefully pitched to ensure that water runs down them properly and steam travels up them properly. As a house settles over the years, or things otherwise get jostled out of place, sometimes the pitch of the pipes gets changed, and the steam can no longer properly reach certain radiators. Your HVAC contractor can check to see whether your pipes are properly pitched, and if they are not, the pitch can usually be adjusted rather easily. A steam boiler system can keep a home evenly warmed, but these systems do have their intricacies. If yours does not seem to be heating evenly, try unplugging the vents, and if this does not work, call your HVAC tech to check on your insulation and pipe...

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