HVAC Blog

Air Conditioner Maintenance 101: What Can You Do On Your Own?

Posted by Michelle Moore on October 13, 2020

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Air conditioning systems are among the most common household units today. If someone wants to keep their AC units in perfect shape, they should not overwork them. Whether it is a single-room AC or a unit for the entire house, it’s advisable to repair and maintain it to enjoy the cooling effect. As a complex unit, an air conditioner comprises several components that work together to produce quality results. Performing periodic maintenance may prevent unnecessarily expensive repairs in the future.

DIY Maintenance Tips

Every AC system owner should invest in professional inspection services, preferably from a reputable technician. Doing thorough inspections at least once a year may help the owner enjoy the unit’s entire lifespan. Below are crucial DIY HVAC maintenance tips that will help homeowners.

  • Turn off the power. Working around electrical appliances can be dangerous. AC system owners should not joke around the movable parts of an air conditioner. Turning off the power on the external compressor will be a prudent idea. Also, switch off power on the outer shut-off box and at the breaker box.
  • Remove debris from the condenser coils and evaporator areas. When trash and grime accumulate on these essential parts of a system, they cause unnecessary tension on the unit’s mechanical components. A screwdriver comes in handy when loosening the bolts on the fan grill.
  • Evaluate the refrigerant levels. When the refrigerant level is incorrect, the system overworks. Reading the manual may give the system owners an idea of what the actual readings should be. An overworked unit reduces inefficiency and boosts longevity.
  • Grease the movable parts. Lubing may not be necessary for all air conditioners. New models do not require lubing. However, the older models’ compressors and fan motors need periodical lubrication.
  • Check air filters for cleaning. Filters can trap dirt, which, when not cleaned, can affect the machine’s efficiency. Blocked filters limit airflow to the appliance, leaving the motor running with no results to show. In such a case, the homeowner will pay hefty bills for low-quality indoor air and minimal heating.
  • Look out for bent fins. At times all that one should do is to use their eyes. Bent fins might tamper with the efficiency of an AC system. In such a situation, using a fin-straightening device may be helpful.
  • Trim the surrounding shrubbery. Some people plant some plants around their air conditioners. While it may help to obscure the appliance from view, it shouldn’t obstruct its functioning.
  • Assess your ductwork for open spaces. An air conditioner may not effectively keep the air cool when the doors and windows lack proper sealing. The owner can tell when there is a problem with the seal. If more cool air escapes through open spaces, the appliance tries to produce more, and so it overworks.
  • Regulate the thermostat. When away from home, one should adjust their thermostat to have a higher temperature reading. Doing this promotes a longer lifespan and may lower one’s monthly utility bills.
  • Turn on the power. When done with preventive maintenance, one should put the power back on immediately. Please leave it to go through a complete cycle and observe how the appliance behaves after that. In case it does not perform like it used to, it may be time to involve the professionals.

How to Troubleshoot for Repairs

Even with regular maintenance, your AC system may still malfunction. It is normal to experience it because there is no way to prevent the system’s wear and tear. There is a tricky bit about repairing AC systems that an ordinary person cannot handle. It would be prudent for every AC owner to know when it is time to delegate to the experts. As suggested by Alco HVAC in Fredericksburg, here are some concerns that may require the intervention of the experts;

  • When the AC pad is sinking. As time advances, the concrete pads below the heat exchanger and AC tend to settle. Professional plumbers may evaluate the depth to which the pads have sunk. If they don’t strain the electrical lines and copper coolant tubes, there will not be much effect. However, if it drops further, it may cause tension on the lines, necessitating professional intercession.
  • When it is an electrical issue. The complex interconnection of motors, tubes, and wires is not for everyone. When one suspects they have an electrical fault, it would be wise if they contacted the professionals. In case of improper wiring, the complicated circuits can easily trigger shots.
  • If the owner cannot diagnose the problem. It’s imprudent and risky to attempt handling a system whose issue one does not know. Where would one even start checking? Most likely, in such a case, one would aggravate the situation.
  • When the compressor starts going on and off. Mostly, compressors operate from a central cooling area. If a compressor is to be on and off, like every 15 minutes, it will strain the system excessively. There could be several triggers, which you may never identify quickly.

The Importance of Investing in Maintenance Services

One may ask about the essence of conducting maintenance regularly, yet the experts do an extensive checkup yearly. First, AC systems’ internal calibrations are affected by external factors. The simple checkups may come with benefits such as;

  • Reduced repair costs
  • Reasonable utility bills
  • Prevention of total system failure
  • Safer functioning of the system
  • The system serves the befitting lifespan

Whether an individual involves the experts or not, the truth is that they have a crucial role to play in maintaining the AC system. Although preventive maintenance may not appear necessary, it saves the situation a lot. When an HVAC professional comes over, one can ask them questions on simple maintenance tips. It would be reasonable if they taught you firsthand maintenance tips. They may have to caution you on the safety measures to observe.

How To Look After Your HVAC System

Posted by Michelle Moore on July 29, 2020

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Category: HVAC

How To Look After Your HVAC System

How To Look After Your HVAC System

You have to be responsible if you own a home. Ensuring that you make timely mortgage repayments, you need to manage the functionality of your property and check that everything works correctly. Tasks such as HVAC repair may be rather mundane, but they are an integral part of keeping your house operating right.

HVAC, or heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning, is a system that helps you to maintain a comfortable home temperature. Also, it partly helps to make your property energy efficient and enhance the quality of air.

The majority of HVAC maintenance performed by homeowners is preventative or proactive. This means that you are carrying out tasks that will stop future issues from arising. There’s a range of things that can malfunction with HVAC systems, like corrosion, leaks, and air distribution problems. Moreover, things such as filthy coils and blocked filters can result in problems, so you must keep abreast of your maintenance duties each year.

The most effective way to maintain an HVAC unit is to devise a standard plan that you adhere to on an annual basis. The following HVAC maintenance guide will cover the fundamentals you should know to develop a plan. The topics covered will include correct maintenance procedures, how frequently maintenance should be performed, and the associated expenses.

Commonly Experienced HVAC Issues

As already stated, many issues can arise with an HVAC unit – some of which are more commonly seen. It is helpful to be aware of these issues for obvious reasons. Here are a few HVAC issues to look out for a while you devise your maintenance timetable and approach, as provided to us from a local HVAC in Dayton company.

Leaking Systems

HVAC drain and connector lines can start to leak at any time. This will make your unit operate harder than necessary, resulting in you needing to replace several components. Watch out for leaking refrigerant lines, along with leaks from the heat exchanger and AC condensate line.

Problems With Corrosion

When wires are combined with moisture, corrosion is always a possibility. This could occur on any terminals or wires connected to your HVAC unit, and will usually cause the unit to lose power intermittently. Like leaking, it will cause your unit to overwork as well and might eventually result in a total break.

Debris and Dirt

Every component of an HVAC unit – from the electric panel to the filters – needs to be debris free. As well as damaging your unit’s efficiency, things such as filthy air filters will send allergens and dust into your property, impacting the quality of air and potentially blocking the unit.

How to Maintain an HVAC Unit

It is impossible to compile a list of HVAC maintenance tasks if you are unaware of what to do. In the absence of any unexpected problems, these are the normal tasks you will need to complete every year. We have divided them into different timeframes to quickly identify what has to be done immediately, and what should be done only once per year.

The list that follows will keep your unit working smoothly, and it will ensure that in the event of any problems you discover them as quickly as possible.

Straightaway

Check that these tasks have been completed, to stop preventable issues from arising with your HVAC unit:

Look to see whether your HVAC unit has any debris on its’ visible outdoor and indoor components (think heating units and AC units). This includes grass, boxes, furniture, and leaves.

Make sure there are a couple of feet of space around each HVAC system component.

If you’re yet to do so, purchase highly efficient air filters, so they are ready to use them. If your current air filters are not highly efficient, swap them for ones that are.

On a Monthly Basis

Check the refrigerant lines on your air conditioner for leaks. Usually, these lines are made from copper and link your unit’s indoor evaporator coil to the air conditioner outdoors. 

Carry out your HVAC maintenance tasks on time, and you will stop many of the frequent issues that require costly repairs. Suffice to say, if you are ever in any doubt, get in touch with a professional.

How To Know When To Repair or Replace Your HVAC System

Posted by Michelle Moore on December 3, 2019

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Category: HVAC

If you are still using your aging HVAC unit, it may work just fine, but you are probably spending more on energy bills than you need to. In terms of energy savings, today’s newer models are much more efficient.

When you have had your current HVAC unit for about ten years, it may be time to think about replacing it; most experts will tell you that 10 to 15 years is the average life expectancy of the typical HVAC unit. However, you may want to have a technician look at your older unit if it still seems to be doing the job, as with proper maintenance, it is possible for an HVAC unit to last up to 20 years.

Whether it would make more sense just to buy a new unit, or keep using your current HVAC system, an experienced technician should be able to tell you. Troubleshooting these common HVAC problems can also help you make that decision.

Watch Those Energy Bills

A good technician should be able to advise you on what the SEER rating of your current system is. An HVAC unit is more efficient if it has a higher SEER rating, and comparing an older and newer system can help.

If your older system isn’t being properly maintained, it will become less efficient and won’t work to its full potential. This actual efficiency can also help you decide whether keeping your old unit makes sense.

You’ll probably notice higher energy bills if your air conditioning unit’s efficiency decreases. But it may be time to upgrade to a new HVAC system if you notice that every month you have big spikes in your energy bill prices.

How Often Repairs Are Carried Out

It can be tedious and costly trying to maintain an older unit, aside from the fact that it probably costs you more. Keep in mind that a repair every now and then is only to be expected, and it comes with owning an air conditioner.

But nobody wants the expense of having to pay for major repairs every few weeks or few months when it’s hot outside, and you really need your HVAC to work. Constant repairs should be a clue that it’s probably time to replace your system with a new unit, and of course, it gets expensive calling the technician every few weeks.

It’s time to spend money on a new unit that will work more efficiently, rather than wasting money on your older unit, if you are spending more time fixing problems with your HVAC system than you would like.

Your Current Unit and R22 Needs

Freon or R22 refrigerant costs anything from $40 per pound to over $175 per pound, and if you have a coolant leak and are constantly topping it up, it can be costly. It can actually cost you between $550 and $1000 for the cost of the service call and the R22 needed to fix the leak temporarily.

The compressor on your unit will probably die if you have a constant leak, and that can cost $2000 to fix. Again, it simply makes sense to spend that same amount on a newer low-end HVAC system that will last you at least ten years.

Why A Healthy Furnace Is A Sign Of A Well-Kept Home

Posted by Michelle Moore on June 10, 2019

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Category: HVAC

Can you guess what part of the average home is more often than not, neglected? If you guessed the furnace, you are absolutely right. Everybody uses it, but nobody cleans the furnace.

Sounds familiar? Furnaces suffer in silence such that by the time mom and pop look after the telltale signs, it is already too late. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason why most furnaces tend to get replaced lock, stock, and barrel.

So if you want to save yourself all the trouble, take note of some valuable clues that will tell you precisely what ails your furnace. You do not have to be an HVAC expert in order to save your own furnace.

For example, a simple perusal of your latest energy bill can readily reveal the truth about your furnace. Higher than last month? If it is not winter, the handwriting is on the wall. Something is definitely leaking.

So make the call, contact a licensed HVAC professional to have your furnace checked. As you can see, understanding furnaces is rather straight forward if you know where to look.

Or even for that matter, how to listen. Sick furnaces emit loud hisses, whooshing, and even grunt-like noises. So when you hear these things, get your furnace checked right away. Early detection can definitely save you a lot of money in the long run.

Furnaces do make some sounds, like clicks. Also, a furnace will not be completely silent when in operation. However, it should not make loud and weird noises either. So there is your valuable clue.

The whooshing sound that your furnace’s fan makes is especially suspect when you come to think of it. Do you wake up at night because your furnace fan turns on and off with that annoying sound? Get even. Call The Equalizer: your friendly neighborhood plumber for best results.

And here is yet another sign that your furnace is unwell. It feels like there is a ghost in the house, even when the furnace is running full blast. It is natural to have some parts of the house to be cold, especially those parts that are not directly exposed to the sun.

But when you are shivering for the most part, when the furnace is hard at work, there is definitely something wrong. Don’t call the Ghost Busters. Contact a qualified HVAC Orange County specialist instead.

Evil spirits or poltergeists are not responsible for your furnace’s problem. Chances are, the apparatus is burning fuel excessively. Do not wait until you receive a humongous or outrageous bill from your utility provider. Like a true detective, calling the attention of the HVAC specialists is a step in the right direction.

Don’t be shy if cobwebs are starting to accumulate along the corners or near the filter of that furnace of yours. It definitely needs help. If you have applied due diligence in keeping your furnace spic and span to no avail? It is time to accept the sad truth: that furnace is gone for good.

You are better off getting a new furnace rather than going through the ordeal of high bills to pay. Thermostat performance can also offer valuable clues about the health of the furnace. When you keep adjusting that tiny and beige gadget on the wall and nothing is happening, the heater can be the problem. Again, the repairman can evaluate the situation better than you. So never, never hesitate to seek help.

Benefits of proper maintenance of HVAC Systems and Air Conditioners

Posted by Michelle Moore on March 11, 2019

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Category: HVAC

Carrying out regular checkups and maintenance takes good care of an investment. Experts for HVAC recommend that furnaces, A/C and ventilation must be serviced and tested approximately once in a year. This applies to little TLC as well that they must be checked and tested annually. Absolutely, conducting annual checkups by qualified technicians adds more life to the system. Therefore, HVAC systems must be serviced for various reasons to realize its benefits at large.

Benefits of proper maintenance of HVAC Systems

Maintaining regularly HVAC systems saves resources such as money and gives the family the comfort it requires in every winter season. Many other benefits are attached to proper and regular maintenance of the HVAC systems.

Proper maintenance gives the HVAC system a longer life span, and this is the primary advantage. Usually, HVAC systems last for about 10-20 years, and with proper maintenance, they can last up to 30 years. Undoubtedly, the life span of the system depends on the regular checkups and maintenance practices carried out. Poor maintenance means replacement of the systems sooner than expected.

Proper maintenance attracts lower utility bills as properly maintained systems perform efficient and better. Therefore, the efficient running of the air conditioners attracts low energy bills compared to inefficient air conditioners.

Properly maintained gives a piece of mind to the homeowners. Servicing HVAC systems regularly provides the homeowner with enough time to rest, as they are not likely to break down easily especially when needed most and urgently. Again, servicing gives enough time for a technician to plan and replace worn out parts before they cause expensive damages, for instance, damaging the whole equipment.

Proper maintenance ensures fewer repairs. Regularly maintained HVAC systems do not require frequent reparations compared to systems that are not properly maintained. Ideally, servicing gives time technicians to identify and resolve issues before they mature up and become more problematic.

Proper maintenance gives more indoor comfort. Serviced furnaces and other conditioning systems work efficiently; therefore, subjecting families to the comfort they require. They ensure steady and assured performance, unlike unmaintained systems that may break any time when they are needed most.

Proper maintenance ensures high quality and good air circulation within the home. HVAC systems are meant to cool and heat spaces as well as provide adequate ventilation. Therefore, regular checkups ensure high-quality air and remove possible irritants for instance dust and allergens.

Proper maintenance reduces expenses that could be incurred in shopping for the spare parts. Skipping checkups is not saving money but attracting the use of more money in carrying out the reparations. Servicing furnaces and air conditioners regularly cut off the costs of buying expensive spare parts. Therefore, skipping servicing HVAC systems is costly.

The Guidelines for carrying out HVAC Maintenance

On purchasing the air filters, it is important to check on the manufactures instructions to know replacing time for filters and cleaning is due. Cleaning and replacing the filters and cleaning them is an important step that ensures that ensures the whole systems works optimally. Lack of cleaning the filters leads to clogging thus making the furnace slow. This will increase the energy bills and the vulnerability of the conditioning system breakdown. Therefore, it is important to replace the filters monthly.
Regular Maintenance

Undoubtedly, the majority of the homeowners assume the importance of carrying out preventive maintenance for their conditioning systems. Regularly servicing the HVAC system is important just like servicing the vehicles.

Ideally, carrying out regular maintenance on the HVAC system and air conditioners is important as it adds life to the devices, ensure high quality of air is supplied within the home, minimizes reparation costs, lowers utility bills, brings the desired comfort to the home. Therefore, contact HVAC contractors to help in services these great devices thus ensure the family is safe during winter and summer seasons.