Have You Scheduled Your Routine Tune-Up?

tuneup

 

Schedule the Appointment during Other Activities

 

A/C tune-ups usually do not take a long time. Most technicians can have routine maintenance completed in just a couple of hours. If there is a problem the service might take a bit longer, but rarely are there problems with air conditioners that take more than a day to fix. If homeowners are able to plan a day away from their home, they can spend the time in a comfortably air conditioned public space while service is performed. Service could also be performed while a homeowner is away at work, enjoying the cool comfort of the office air conditioning. As long as the air conditioning service company is trustworthy and there is a way to arrange entrance and exit from the home, this is often the best solution for everyone.

 

Homeowners that must be at home during the repairs can also benefit from a schedule. Determine how many times per year the air conditioning needs a tune up. For most homes, a once a year AC check up is enough, but for those running their air conditioning year-round, tuning it up at least twice a year is a good idea.

 

Determining When to Schedule during the Year

 

Most people find the best time to schedule AC maintenance is at the change of a season. This allows a break of about six months between appointments and locks in a convenient time when homeowners can remember to put the service appointment on their schedule. Many homeowners schedule their AC tune up as part of their spring and fall cleanup, but those living in a temperate climate year-round might not have that much cleaning up to do with the change of the seasons. Still, this is a good system that creates a set habit of scheduling air conditioning maintenance.

The Benefits Of Being A Energy Star Partner?

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Consumers shopping for HVAC appliances such as heat pumps and air-conditioning units will often hear of contractors who are ENERGY STAR partners. This appears to be a term associated with green energy and environmentalism. It’s a reasonable question to ask what allows a company to become an ENERGY STAR partner. It is definitely more than just paying a membership fee.

Stringent Standards

ENERGY STAR doesn’t mince words when the program states it is an advocate for energy efficiency. Those who would partner with ENERGY STAR must sign onto a partnership agreement that has very specific activities. An ENERGY STAR partner must keep track of energy performance and develop a plan that is in collaboration with the overall ENERGY STAR strategy for better performance. The program also has a training program for builders and credentialing requirements for HVAC contractors. These are not simple training courses, and the company has to commit to train their staff and educating the public about energy efficiency.

The Benefits

For the contractors and builders there is a very obvious advantage to being associated with the ENERGY STAR program. Consumers trust the label and the certification. Anyone who is allowed to use the ENERGY STAR logo knows that it will draw potential customers and clients directly to them. The benefit to the homeowner is substantial. Working with ENERGY STAR approved builders and contractors, a person can feel confident that any air-conditioning units or heat pump is an appliance that is very energy efficient. This saves a lot of money over time and also helps create a healthier environment within the house. For those people who are concerned about the environment, working with an ENERGY STAR partner is a way of seeing to it that as small carbon footprint as possible is left on the local ecology. Less use of carbon in a reduction in greenhouse gas are important reasons to consider working with an ENERGY STAR partner for building, and HVAC appliances.

HVAC Improvements for House Selling

new ac

There comes a time when a person has to consider selling the house. It may be due to a job transfer or simply moving to a bigger home that causes the decision to be made. Getting the house ready for sale may take some time and a few home improvements will add to the value of property. Work on the HVAC systems, including the air-conditioning and heat pumps, can raise the selling price.

Repair/Renovation

Too many homeowners will make unnecessary renovations to try to improve the value of their house. Some of these are very cosmetic and a prospective homebuyer could care less about them. Working on the HVAC system is different. Seeing to it that the ducts have been properly sealed and that the heat pump is in good working order can be beneficial. Prospective buyers want to be assured that the systems in good working order, so scheduling an inspection and maintenance a few weeks before the viewing will help. A homeowner may even want to keep a copy of the inspection to show to people interested in the house.

Installing New HVAC

Energy-efficient air-conditioning units and heat pumps are definite value adders to the selling price. A homeowner may want to consider installation of either and if that is the strategy, it would be a smart idea to check with a tax accountant on what possible breaks are available. Depending on the terms and conditions, a homeowner could get tax rebates and incentives for installing ENERGY STAR approved HVAC machinery. The HVAC system may also qualify as a capital improvement to the home and that is tax-deductible. It is important, however, to speak with a knowledgeable tax person before making the investment in a new HVAC system.

A well running HVAC system adds value for no other reason than it keeps utility bills low. That can add a few thousand dollars on to the final selling price of the house. A homeowner should do some planning and get a few cost estimates before doing anything major, but even fine-tuning the HVAC system is going to mean extra cash when the house is finally sold.

Maintaining the Furnace in Polar Conditions

 

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The polar vortex came as a very sobering shock to a lot of people. It is often the case the furnace is taken for granted during the cold months. Freezing or semi-polar conditions should alert the homeowner to the importance of a properly functioning furnace. The last thing that is needed in subzero weather is for the furnace to break down.

The Basics

Furnaces will take in colder air, clean it, heat it, and distribute the air throughout the house by means of the ductwork. That is essentially what a conventional furnace will do and the process repeats itself when the furnace is in operation. An unexpected loss of heat may simply be a thermostat that is not properly set, or it may mean there’s a circuit breaker blown. These are things which are very easily corrected. It is also possible the air filter needs to be replaced and that is easy enough to do. The homeowner can perform any of the tasks.

More Advanced Maintenance

Problems may surface with obstructions to the airflow and there may be difficulty with the gas burners themselves. Some difficulty may arise from the blower motor, and the heat anticipator of the thermostat may be having problems. These are challenges that may be above and beyond the expertise of a homeowner. Such cases would require the services of an HVAC professional and there should be no hesitation in bringing in such assistance. Trouble with the heat anticipator or blower motor can dramatically affect the warming conditions of the house. It is worth paying a service charge to have the problems fixed, and inspection of the furnace warranty may permit for certain expenses to be covered by the warranty, saving the homeowner some money. It is anybody’s guess if a polar vortex happens again. Making sure the gas furnace is operating efficiently will help any home weather the temperature drop.

Various Heat Pumps to Consider

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People who are thinking of doing some home improvements want to get as much out of their investment as possible. A reason why homeowners are willing to invest in heat pumps is the energy efficiency and low utility bills that will result. There is more than one type of heat pump on the market, and these will provide both heat and cooling service to a house.

The Basics of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a viable alternative to traditional furnace and air conditioning service. Essentially, they use electricity and heat pumps will transfer heat from one area to another depending on the time of the year. The energy efficiency comes from the fact heat pumps move heat and do not generate it. It means less fossil fuel is used to create needed warm or cool air.

The Types of Heat Pumps

Air  source heat pump is widely used and this transfers heat from the outside to the inside of the residence. This type of heat pump is an exceptionally good dehumidifier, and can provide excellent air-conditioning service in warm months. It also can cut the use of electricity by over a third of the normal use. Because these types do not work very well in very cold climates, a secondary source of heat will have to be available.

Geothermal heat pumps will transfer heat from the ground or any water source that is close by. These have low operating costs and can be used in cold climates where an air – source heat pump is not very effective. The absorption heat pump is a new model and will use heat as the energy source. This particular heat pump is fairly flexible in that any number of heat sources can be used.

The homeowner has the decision to make of which heat pump to be used. Before making a purchase that individual should take in consideration the climate, the subsoil of the property, and whether or not a backup source of heat is needed. Heat pumps provide both good heat and air conditioning service, and will do this using less energy than ordinary fossil fuel burning systems.

 

Summer….It’s just around the corner


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The holiday season is over and all the Christmas boxes and wrapping paper have been thrown in the trash. In case people aren’t noticing, the days are gradually getting longer minute by minute. It also should come as no surprise as the weeks go by how the outdoor starts to get a little bit warmer. It’s all gradual but summer is going to happen sooner than anyone thinks. The air conditioner has not been called on to do much in the past few weeks but that will change. Now is the time to get ready for June with an air conditioning checkup.

 

The Main Components

A homeowner might not have the skills to do the inspection, but this person should at least have an understanding of what the HVAC technician is talking about at the time of an air conditioning checkup. Modern air conditioning units are situated outside of the house and pump liquid refrigerant into what is known as the air – handling unit (AHU) inside the building. The AHU generates the cooling air and will force it through the ducts into the living spaces of the house. The ducts themselves are made ordinarily of sheet metal and moved the cooling air into the living spaces. Ducts by the way also return the air to the AHU. Thanks are the openings through which the cool air enters into the room.

 

Possible Problems That Need To Be Investigated

Refrigerant leaks are the most important concern because the liquid chemicals can be an environmental danger. Ducts have to be sealed properly to avoid air leaks that either emit cool air into the atmosphere, or permit warmer outside air to come uncooled into the ventilation system. Both vents and ducts have to be free of dust accumulations or mold so as to provide air freely and without having mold spores get into the atmosphere. The air conditioning inspection does not have to be expensive, but the system ought to be looked at to make sure that there is nothing that prevents top efficiency of a service so often used. An air conditioning checkup done now is a good idea because it is not as expensive as it will be in May, when everyone is trying to get their air conditioner ready.

Don’t Forget the Ducts

 

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A homeowner can expect a certain amount of dust to settle in the heating ducts of the HVAC system. The problem arises when large accumulations occur. It means that more energy has to be expended to push warm air out into the living space. That’s an energy cost that needs to be avoided and it can be. As a matter fact, this can even be a do-it-yourself job.

A visual inspection can determine whether or not their excessive amounts of dust or mold in the ducts. A homeowner should wear gloves and have a breathing mask on. The mask is there because there may be mold and allergens in the ducts that can cause a reaction. The vent grille ought to be thoroughly cleaned so that there is no lingering dust or mildew. Be very sure that mold is completely eliminated.

Easy Maintenance

A damp cloth can be used inside the ducts to remove the dust. A homeowner should be patient and careful when doing this. A gentle wiping is better than trying to put some elbow grease into it. The area can be checked with a flashlight to be sure that all of the accumulations have been successfully removed. As soon as all the work is completed, the area should be vacuumed for any dust that may be lying around.

If the ducts have not been cleaned for a number of years it professional may be needed to do the work. That person would do a more complete inspection and has the tools necessary to do a complete job. They also are familiar with HVAC equipment, and there is less a chance of the HVAC system being damaged when professionals working.

It can’t be stressed enough that allergens and mold may be in the duct system. Homeowners ought to keep that in mind if they are going to try to tackle this job by themselves. It doesn’t take much to be safe, and once the ducts are clean the heated air will move more freely into the living space.

Dangers of Winter Carbon Monoxide

 

 

Winter is the season when families close the windows to shut out the cold drafts and stay inside to take advantage of the warmth coming from the furnace. There is no problem for this in ordinary circumstances but a defective furnace is a source of very serious health hazards. The worst is carbon monoxide. This is a gas that has no odor but it is poisonous. The possibility of carbon monoxide leaking from the furnace is a reason why a homeowner should take precautions during the winter.

Furnace service can be as simple as having a common monoxide alarm installed. It must be remembered these are not smoke detectors, and will only activate when carbon monoxide is noticed. If there is evidence of carbon monoxide the heat exchanger in the furnace needs to be replaced. Heat exchangers over period of time can develop cracks and that allows the gas to escape. Replacing the heat exchanger, by the way, is the kind of repair work that an HVAC professional ought to be doing. This is not a do-it-yourself project at all because of the danger of the gas that’s involved. It is also possible that the heating system of the house is not venting the flue gases out of the home properly. Again, an HVAC professional needs to inspect to see where any gas leakage is happening.

If a carbon monoxide alarm has not been installed, evidence of carbon monoxide can be symptoms of ill health the residents of the house may have. This can include nausea and drowsiness for which there is no explanation. If these symptoms become apparent it is time to the contact an HVAC technician to inspect the furnace. Winter is a time when people are indoors and the furnace is working at maximum capacity. Some safety precautions to guard against carbon monoxide gas can prevent serious and tragedy from happening during what should be a holiday season.

Keeping the Heat Pump in Prime Shape

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Heat pumps are very efficient ways to cool as well as heat a home. Because of the constant need for air-conditioning it can happen that the machinery will start to experience problems. This may require some repairs or full replacements; it all depends on the circumstances. A good heat pump service contractor  can take a look at the situation and decide what needs to be done to keep the heat pump working.

It may be as simple as replacing the air filter. Filters congested with dirt and dust cannot deliver the type of cooling air expected by the residents in the house. A clean air filter can be installed that will allow air to flow without any restriction. The indoor air quality (IAQ) is important, so that will mean that the humidifiers and ventilation should be checked. Heat pumps are very durable and should last for a number of years but constant use will cause breakdowns. Other parts of the machinery may be either worn down or broken, and they need to be replaced. Getting heat pump service from professionals with years of experience is the best way to see to it that things are made right.

The sunny climate in Arizona is beautiful but very hot. A heat pump can see to it that air-conditioning units have the right amount of energy needed to keep the house comfortable in even the worst of days. This equipment does need attention and a smart homeowner stays on top of things. The first sign of problems signal the need for immediate attention to be given. This type of HVAC equipment is meant to be very durable and last throughout the years. Taking care of a heat pump when there’s any sign of malfunction assures that this domestic piece of machinery provides great service well into the future.

Saving on Energy Bills with the Right HVAC system

Leave a smaller carbon footprint at the same time

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 Consumers  in Phoenix AZ, want to save on their energy bills. They also respect the environment and want to leave as small carbon footprint as possible. The cost of heating and cooling in Phoenix AZ, is only going to go down if the most efficient HVAC systems are used. Moreover, the right equipment will see to it that as little energy as practicable is expended and that means less carbon emissions will happen.

 

Technology has definitely changed over time. There are now HVAC systems that can keep energy costs under control while at the same time making energy use that much more efficient. The ENERGY STAR program, sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), can help a person make the right decision regarding HVAC equipment such as furnaces, air conditioning units, heat pumps, and boilers. Some homeowners are worried about the cost of replacing their old HVAC systems with new ones. Depending on location, there are energy tax credits that can help. It is definitely worth checking to see if the cost can be defrayed with either a tax credit or an outright grant. A consumer should keep in mind that the cost is upfront and the savings is long-term. The new HVAC systems with their energy efficiency will pay for themselves the matter of a few short years and will provide energy savings for even more years to come.

 

The top quality HVAC systems available are offered by Trane, Rheem, Carrier, and Ameristar. These provide highly efficient heating and air conditioning equipment and while the initial price may vary depending on the buying market, these provide the kind of efficiency that save money and preserve the environment. Older HVAC systems are expensive to maintain and keep energy bills high. The newer models are the best way to bring down the energy bill, and at the same time promote a cleaner environment.