A great deal of heating repair involves making sure your home is well insulated, preventing your HVAC system from working long, hard hours in vain. If you've ever paid an electric bill in the middle of winter, you're probably well familiar with the costs of keeping your home toasty warm. Those without the luxury of a fireplace are at the mercy of the elements without their central heat. But there are things you can do to make sure you're getting the most out of your system. Some of it involves making sure the system itself is working at maximum efficiency. But there is also the matter of making sure you aren't losing that precious heat to the atmosphere.
Windows and Doors
Anyone with kids has probably yelled at them to keep the door closed during the winter. "You're letting all the heat out!" is a common refrain. While it's undoubtedly true, it could be missing the big picture. Windows and doors that are improperly sealed could be letting out a lot of that heat even when shut. Before you spend a lot of money on heating repair, you might consider taking a tour of your home, making sure all of your windows and doors are sealed tightly enough to prevent both wintry drafts from outside and your own heat from escaping into the cold.
As we all learned in elementary school, heat rises. This means you need to make sure that you have a properly insulated attic if you want to keep that heat from escaping into the atmosphere. This is where many homeowners lose the majority of their home's energy efficiency. You could be running your HVAC system twice as much as you need to just because you lack that proper insulation. Call out of a professional to evaluate your insulation and see what he has to say about the matter. You could save hundreds of dollars in electric bill costs just by making an upgrade.
Sometimes, in the end, it is the HVAC system after all. Experts agree that a home's HVAC system loses energy efficiency on the order of 5% per year. After only a couple of years, it's easy to see why your energy bills are growing out of control. Having a heating repair company come out and service your system can make a big difference. These systems are machines in need of maintenance. Don't let yours fall into disrepair. Keeping up with maintenance will ensure you're getting the most out of your system and will allow you to keep your home warm and comfortable throughout the harsh winter months.
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in your home, referred to as residential HVAC, is not necessarily something that is self-governing and maintenance-free. But before you call your technician, here are some tips that you can safely apply to keep your system running smoothly and ways to remediate various problems yourself.
1. Outside Unit Free of Debris
Always keep your outside unit free of bushes, fencing and anything else that could obstruct proper airflow. While it’s true that these units don’t compliment anyone’s landscaping, you are urged not to camouflage your system with bushes planted too closely. However, allowing three to five feet of clearance would allow sufficient space for ease in airflow. Periodically check your unit to ensure the area surrounding it continues to be free and clear.
2. Coils Clean
Sometimes dirty coils in your outside unit can cause your heating and cooling to run sluggishly or not as efficiently. Hose the unit down to clean it off any dirt and other debris like cottonwood seeds and small leaves. You can even buy special residential HVAC unit cleansing spray at your local home improvement store that is specifically formulated for cleaning such coils.
3. Insulate Lines
A great proactive measure for ensuring the efficiency of your residential HVAC is to insulate the copper lines against the elements. You can easily identify these lines, as they are the copper tubing that connects your outside unit to the house. Any hardware or home improvement store will carry such insulators. They resemble swimming noodles and are easy to install.
4. Replace Filters
Regularly replacing your interior filters is an important way to keep your system operating at full capacity. Changing your filter when it becomes discolored from dust is not just an energy-saving task. It’s also a way to avoid extra allergens inside your home from circulating.
By practicing these tips and remaining mindful of regularly maintaining your system in this way, you will save money on energy bills as well as on professional servicing. Your system will also last longer given proper care and maintenance.
However, there are instances when you must call your residential HVAC technician. If your system isn’t running correctly even after you’ve taken the above measures then calling in the professionals is unavoidable. But take heart, oftentimes all the system needs is a charge, or a refill of freon to begin working like new and this service is not an expensive fix.
There is more to your Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system (HVAC) than switching it on and off. When you get an HVAC system fixed or when you move into a place with an HVAC system, the time you take to understand the system and what basic maintenance steps you can take, will lower your heating and cooling costs and prolong the life of your system.
Here are some tips of things you can do to keep your HVAC system up and running for a long time:
1. Schedule a monthly cleaning routine for your air filters. Your HVAC system will have one air filter located at the point where the air return vent connects to the forced air furnace. Remove the filter and inspect it. If it is visibly dirty, it should be replaced or cleaned. Bear in mind that filters that may not appear dirty on the surface, may be plugging with debris in areas you can't see, receding their effectiveness. Some filters may be type that can be cleaned, but most often these filters are disposable. A dirty filter can be replaced with a new clean one. A new filter will reduce the wear and tear of the system itself. Cleaning or replacing the air filter will allow uncontaminated air to circulate throughout your home, helping you breathe easier.
2. With heat pumps you can switch the air filter that is present in the air handler. Since there are many different kinds of air filters, ensure that you get the right one when you go to buy an air filter.
3. Get electro static air filters for your HVAC system. Though they are expensive, they can be washed and reused several times, saving you overall HVAC maintenance costs.
4. Keep the area around your HVAC system and its vents clean and clear.
5. If you find that your HVAC system is making an unusual noise or emitting a strange smell, switch it off and call a HVAC professional.
6. Routine inspection by you and every 6 months inspection by an expert will help you keep your HVAC system safe and running. This service will provide the maintenance services you may not be able to provoke, and the HVAC expert will help you understand your system works, provide tips, and help identify any potential failures that could lead to a breakdown.
7. If your HVAC system is working fine, consider giving it a break for a few months when the outside temperature is just right for you to be comfortable indoors.
9. During the winter months, open your blinds and let the sunlight in through your windows, warming your house during the day. Close blinds or drapes in the evening to reduce the heat leaving through the windows. When you are warm enough during the day, even in winter, you can reduce the thermostat to reduce your heating costs. In summer you use blinds to reduce the excess heat entering your home from the windows. There are many ways to provide insulation for your windows, you can use blinds, drapes, or window tinting, etc. to reduce the workload of your HVAC system.
An HVAC emergency can be a major inconvenience to building occupants, but it can also pose safety risks and be very costly to fix. Learn how preventative HVAC servicing and maintenance can keep your systems running at peak performance to avoid an emergency.
An HVAC system comprises many aspects of a facility's comfort, safety, and convenience: temperature, heated water, and boiler safety. Having an HVAC emergency in the wrong time of year can lead to homeowners or commercial facility inhabitants being too hot or too cold, but it can also mean a lack of hot water for showers, healthcare facility needs, laundry, dishes, or commercial refrigeration issues. Learn what constitutes an HVAC emergency and how preventative HVAC servicing can prevent it.
Preventing HVAC Emergency Calls
Having a proper preventative maintenance schedule in place will help prevent many, if not all, common heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, and boiler problems. Facility maintenance crews should ensure they are keeping system filters replaced at regular intervals, and that coils are cleaned for proper efficiency and operation. Ideally, building maintenance staff members should all be experienced in boiler and HVAC emergency procedures. If not, a company that specializes in HVAC servicing should be called right away.
Impacts Of Improper HVAC Servicing
In some cases, facilities overlook having a preventative maintenance plan in place due to prioritizing other concerns. It's common to overlook the importance of proper HVAC servicing until the boiler breaks down, a water heater busts, or tenants are complaining about the temperature. It can be far more costly to do emergency HVAC repair tasks than to have regular maintenance completed. In addition, tenants or owners are often upset when a lengthy repair is needed, especially when the building is too hot or too cool for comfort during extreme temperatures.
Professional HVAC Repair Is Essential
HVAC servicing or emergency HVAC repair should not be undertaken by someone who is not a professional. Boilers, both high pressure and low pressure, can be dangerous to repair without experience. Cooling and refrigeration liquids can also be hazardous to handle and dispose of. It's much more cost effective to have a single repair completed by an expert HVAC servicing company, instead of wasting precious time and money to attempt a repair yourself, only to have to call the experts in the end. Choose a company ahead of time, and look for 24/7 HVAC emergency availability. Years of experience are also helpful, as it indicates that the staff is not only trained in what they do, but that the company has the longevity to prove they know what they're doing.
Healthcare Facility Maintenance Special Requirements
Healthcare facility maintenance provides special challenges and requirements to technicians. Time is often of the essence with healthcare facility maintenance, as the health and safety of the patients relies on them being warm, fed, and with access to clean laundry. It is especially important for facility management to have a reliable HVAC servicing company on call, and ideal to have a good relationship with them. It's recommended to focus on preventative maintenance and experienced walk-throughs to identify potential upcoming breakdowns, so that emergencies can be altogether avoided.
An HVAC emergency not only inconveniences staff and residents, it can also pose safety issues and be costly to fix. Schedule regular preventative HVAC servicing to keep your systems running at peak efficiency and avoid an emergency situation.
Things break! There is no way to around it, no matter what you brand you buy or what store you buy it from. What you can control however, is whether or not you replace it or have it repaired. This is especially true for large items such as heaters, ventilators or air conditioners, also known as HVAC systems. For most of us, when our HVAC systems breakdown or malfunction in any way we have to seek out help diagnosing or repairing the problem from a professional contractor. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done if you as the customer do not know how to go about selecting a decent contractor who is not only knowledgeable and experienced but also provides great service. This article will seek to provide information necessary to appropriately aid those in determining a cost effective and efficient HVAC contractor.
The first thing to consider before deciding on an HVAC contractor to perform your installation is to research more than one contractor. In doing so, you can create a list of pros and cons or a chart to compare prices and services in an effort to evaluate each of the contractors. It may seem like a lot of work, but the more effort you put in to find the right HVAC contractor for your installation, the more likely you will be satisfied with the results of the service. Additional points to consider for comparative purposes should include cost per room and service details or procedures; meaning does the contractor outline/discuss their processes with you in advance, including detailing an estimate of costs, or does he/she evade questions and provide no details of work procedures? Answers to said questions can provide a glimpse into the level of service you may be tendered upon hiring them for your HVAC installation. In addition, if you need a little help locating and/or evaluating local contractors, you can also try locating a certified HVAC installation contractor through the website for Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), which is an organization which works to establish and implement standards among HVAC professionals in an effort to ensure consistency in service as well as customer satisfaction.
Another thing to consider before deciding on an HVAC contractor to perform your installation is to research the products being suggested by the various contractors. This will require you to go online to websites such as www.ahrinet.org for the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, which is a nationally accredited organization that works to ensure that the products being installed in your home do indeed function properly but also exemplify good quality. Furthermore, you will want to know if the products have been recalled for faulty manufacturing, if they are energy efficient as well as if the products meet your needs and fall in line with your budget. Websites like the aforementioned will be able to supply you with said information.
Clearly, the decision making process to find a cost effective and efficient HVAC installation contractor involves a great deal of research. This is particularly true regardless of whether you perform the research yourself or you go to a trusted website. As a result, it is imperative that no matter how you find your HVAC contractor, you should be sure that he/she meets your specific needs whatever they may be. Doing so can and will ensure your satisfaction with the service you are provided.
Hiring an air conditioning contractor isn’t always easy; in fact, it can prove to be the toughest task. And as you know, AC systems do require regular and continuous cleaning for them to operate efficiently. It is not a matter of luxury but of necessity, which reiterates the importance of taking extra caution when hiring an AC technician. You should know that there are many mistakes that homeowners make or overlook when hiring one, which in turn could have an impact on how the system operates afterwards. Hiring the wrong HVAC contractor will not only cost you money – a lot of it – but it will also endanger the lives of your loved ones. Having said that, pay attention to the following ‘red flags’ when hiring your contractor:
Lack of references – of course, there are many contractors who will approach you, trying to convince you that they are the best, but since we are talking about your home here, you will need to do your research on your own. Now, in your research, one of the things you can ask for are the references. With this knowledge, you will be able to determine the level of expertise of each contractor. If a contractor doesn’t have any references, that could put into question their ability to finish the task successfully. So, you need to be cautious.
Lack of reviews – when hiring an AC contractor, it is imperative that you visit their website to learn more about their services. Whether it is an individual or a company you are hiring, you should know that all of them are listed online. When you visit their site, check their reviews to see what other clients have said about their services. If you find a contractor without any reviews, chances are their services aren’t what they say they are or haven’t served any client yet. Of course, you wouldn’t hire someone who you don’t know how they work, as they may end up doing more harm than good to your AC unit. So be very careful!
Don’t have a license or insurance – before checking any further details, you need to find out if the AC contractor you are about to hire has a license and insurance coverage. You need to find out if they are certified to provide services in this particular field and whether they’ve taken liability insurance coverage, just in case anything goes wrong. What this information does is to give you some peace of mind knowing that your AC repair is being done by a certified contractor and that any potential damages are already covered. If your chosen company doesn’t present any proof of this, you should be alerted that you are about to make a big mistake. Ask for these documentation, and if they don’t have them, just know that you are about to hire the long AC contractor.
Poor response time – communication is a critical aspect of any AC repair process. So, when hiring an AC contractor, you need to make sure that their communication is consistent. After all, it’s your house they are servicing, so you will need to be updated about the whole process. AC repair is a complex task and it’s also quite crucial to the general comfortability in your home. If you find that the contractor you are about to hire doesn’t communicate that often, then you need to think again. Hiring that contractor would mean that you won’t have any peace of mind throughout the entire process. You don’t want to be anxious the entire time wondering what going on in your property.
Super low prices – let’s start off by saying ‘not only that shines is gold’ and when the deal is too good, you seriously need to think twice. Of course, there is a standard price in the market for AC repairs. So if you find a contractor who is charging a lot less, you really need to think twice about hiring that service. You need to ask the services they are offering at such a price, chances are that the services are the same. If this is the case, know that you may end up using more money than you would have spent if hired a service on a standard rate. Pay attention!
There is a saying that goes as follows ‘if you have time to lean – you’ve got time to clean.’ Now, if you were to think about it, this is quite a fundamental rule that could always ensure that our surroundings are clean at all times, especially business environments. See, due to the number of people, you can see to it that everyone plays a part in cleaning wherever they are, which will include the maintenance of a commercial HVAC system.
Therefore, not only will this rule ensure that your business is kept looking clean and tidy, but it will also improve your indoor air quality. You may be asking yourself how your office staff can clean the HVAC system. Well, believe it or not, there are some things your staff can do to boost the efficiency of your system. Here are some of the simplest DIY HVAC maintenance tips:
Dusting the ventilators – every business does have a team of cleaners, who are tasked with maintaining the office clean and tidy. Now you can have these people dust the HVAC vents at least once per week to improve the air quality indoors. The vents facilitate airflow from your office, into the HVAC system where it is cooled or heated, and then back into the office – this time being more refreshed and comfortable. Almost two-thirds of this cycle happens in the ventilators, which is why it is crucial for it to be cleaned regularly. If they get clogged with dirt and debris, proper airflow will be inconvenienced, which also means your normal business operations will be inconvenienced too.
Now, dusting out the vents means that no dirt gets to the filters, which means the air will be able to circulate unhitched, thereby improving the efficiency of the HVAC system. Secondly, you need to know that you will be saving a lot of money by just cleaning the vents and the ductwork regularly. Thirdly, you will be promoting health among your employees by ensuring that the air they breathe in while at work is purified and fresh.
Cleaning/replacing the air filters – your filters do play a vital role in the air conditioning process, and they sometimes get easily clogged with all kinds of debris and dirt. This means that you need to ensure that they are checked at least once a month. Now, this is something that your staff can do, so you don’t need to call a technician. Of course, you don’t need any skill to notice that your filters are getting clogged up. So, whenever you do, consider cleaning them, and after a while, you may want to change them, which is pretty simple as well. Dirty filters strain your entire HVAC system, making it operate less efficiently.
Clean out the debris from your AC and heating system – with an outdoor unit, you should know that they do attract debris a lot. So, you need to see to it that your cleaning staff checks these units every week or so to clean it out. With a pair of gloves, you will be able to eliminate the debris from your system, thereby allowing for maximum airflow to the fans. This will increase the system’s lifespan and efficiency. To have the cleanest possible HVAC system, try to remove everything blocking the airflow, leaving a space of two feet around the unit.
Check the thermostat – also, you need to check your thermostat regularly to ensure that it is working properly. When a thermostat malfunctions, it can trigger a number of problems, ranging from uneven or inadequate cooling to short-cycling. To determine whether your thermostat is operating as it should, just try to find out whether the temperature reading matches the temperature in the office. You can do this with the help of a thermometer to measure the room’s temperature. If you find that the readings don’t match, then there is something wrong with your thermostat, and maybe you should speak to a professional about it. But if it operating as it should, ensure that the settings are optimized for both energy savings and comfort.
Clean the drip pan and condensate line – by now you know how the HVAC system operates – which is to suck the warm air and moisture from your indoor space. Afterward, the condensate line then drains the moisture collected to prevent it from accumulating in your equipment, which could cause a lot of problems. But over time, the drain line gets clogged by algae and mold. When left for too long, it could easily destroy your HVAC unit, which could in turn result in indoor air pollution. Now, you can avoid all these by keeping an eye on your condensate line. Locate the drip pan, by first switching the AC off. Now, once you notice water on the pan, there is a possibility that the condensate line is clogged. So, use soap and water to remove all the contaminants blocking the line.
Moreover, you can use a wet/dry vacuum to get rid of the clogs in the condensate line. Vacuum for a minute and check to see if the clogs are still there. If they are, maybe you can use a flexible rubber tube. You will have to access the line from the access point – a T-shaped vent with a PVC cover. After removing the cover, use distilled vinegar or hot water plus soap to flush out the drain. Just let the solution soak for like 30 minutes before rinsing with clean water.
In summary, a commercial HVAC system that is properly maintained will for sure go a long way in enabling you to run your business successfully. You just need to stay on top of it, and everything will turn out great.
There are a number of different things to look at with your HVAC system. Consider all options from repairs, to replacements and upgrades.
When it comes time to upgrade your HVAC systems, do not worry. This can seem like a daunting task that could even be expensive. However, most people will find that updating these systems now can help them to save a substantial amount of money over the lifetime of the home. Because of the importance of these systems within the home, it is critical to keep them in good working order at all times. It also can reduce the need to replace the system if you have the proper maintenance performed as the manufacturer recommends.
What Do You Need?
The first step in replacing an existing HVAC system is to call on a technician to come to the home. This professional will work with you to determine what your needs are. He or she will consider all factors relating to your upgrade or replacement, including things like the following:
• Is this the most efficient type of system for your home or business? The focus may be on selecting alternative energy options or systems that are all-inclusive including air conditioners and furnaces.
• What is the right size system for your home or business? This will depend on factors such as the overall size of the structure and the way you use the space. If you have any special needs, this is the place to provide that information.
• Do you have a budget in mind? If so, you may want to talk about specific options for reducing costs such as going with a smaller system or one that is less advanced in its technological makeup. Do be open with the technician about your budget goals when possible.
• Does the existing system need a full replacement or does it need just certain components replaced? This could be a way to help you to save money in the long-term. Be sure to ask about this option and do not assume he or she will provide this information.
• What can you expect from using this technician to make the updates happen? What is the cost? Is financing available? How long will it take? Are parts in stock or do you need to wait for their arrival? The more you know about the company, the more comfortable you will be hiring them to do the work for you.
Overall, getting a new HVAC system can be a challenge, but only if you do not find the right technicians to help you through the process. To avoid excessive costs and to improve your overall outcome, take the time to talk to several technicians about your options in HVAC repairs or costs. It is a good idea to learn about all types of options available to you since this investment could last decades.
Let’s face it, repairing your air conditioning system in San Diego, is not a joke as it can be extremely expensive, especially if you are doing so during the hot and humid months of summer when you need it the most. But the thing is, these kinds of repairs happen when you fail to take care of the unit prior to the hot weather. See, when you ignore your AC when it needs care, be sure that it will ‘ignore’ you when you need it the most. It doesn’t have to get to this though, just schedule regular preventative maintenance, and if you find it too costly to fix, just replace it entirely. Furthermore, if you don’t do this, not be surprised to find your monthly electricity bills increasing dramatically. In this article, we will look at ways in which you can avoid costly repairs on your AC unit. It’s pretty simple actually.
For starters, seasonal checkups on your AC by an AC professional is always recommended. Having your unit regularly checked by a technician will always guarantee better performance at all times as he or she will ensure that they follow a particular maintenance schedule. So, if you are one of the individuals with a super tight schedule and can’t find time to maintain the unit yourself, get someone to do it for you. But if you are able to do it yourself, you need to create a maintenance checklist where you will include the following tasks:
Replacing or cleaning the air filters – depending on the type of filters you use, they need to be cleaned on a regular basis without fail. And after some time you will have to replace them. The reason being, when your air filter gets dirty, it increases the chances of a breakdown or failure of the entire AC system. Dirty filters make your unit overwork, which in turn, results in the frequent breakdowns which are pretty expensive to fix. So, always ensure that your filters are kept as clean as possible to prevent all these problems.
Properly inspect and oil all the moving parts – you need to ensure that the fans and the motors are properly oiled. If they are not properly oiled, they will be sluggish, which will overwork the AC unit, making it wear faster. They may also cause other major problems which may be super expensive to fix. Still, remember that whenever the AC unit overworks, its power consumption increases, which means your monthly electrical bills will increase as well.
Inspect your refrigerant levels – how efficient your AC unit can be, depends on the refrigerant level which you maintain. If it is too low, it will have a negative impact on your AC unit – the same case applies when the level is high. Basically, whenever the levels drop 10% lower than normal, the cooling coils becomes less efficient, which means that the unit system will have to work harder to try and produce the same cooling power. When this happens, the unit can wear out easily, meaning that you will have to put in more money to repair it and not forgetting that your monthly electricity bills will skyrocket. So you need to ensure that the refrigerant level is balanced for optimum efficiency. Ensuring this balance is pretty complex, so it’s better you call an AC technician to do it for you.
Calibrate, clean and level your thermostat – when you calibrate your thermostat, you ensure that your unit runs as peak capacity. Also, if yours is still a manual thermostat, you really need to switch to a digital one since a manual tends to get broken easily, which means more repair money. But with a digital thermostat, you will enjoy a number of benefits, including being able to set varying temperatures for different days. What’s more, ensure that you clean your thermostat regularly, and have it checked annually as part of your AC tune-up and repair. This way, the major problems that may arise if it is not properly maintained are avoided.
In summary, for your air conditioning unit to operate efficiently and without any problems, you really need to get on top of it. In case of problems, ensure that it is repaired as early as possible before it gets worse. Clean your unit regularly to avoid dirt build-up, which could cost you a fortune if they mess something up.
Here are a few quick air conditioning repair fixes that you can use if you find your ac isn’t working at optimal levels or is leaking.
You don’t always have the time or money to hire a professional air conditioning repair company, but fortunately, sometimes you can do a few quick fixes to solve your climate system woes. Be sure to have your user manual handy and follow all safety precautions so you don’t cause injury to yourself or the ac. You don’t have to be a skilled technician to successfully solve correct these issues, but it helps if you have some repair experience or are at the very least good with your hands.
If you’re conditioner doesn’t seem to be cooling properly, it could be due to a number of reasons. However, there is a simple at-home air conditioning repair trick that you can use that can potentially save you on the cost of professional and won’t take too much time. First turn off the power, and to be safe, you might want to shut off the circuit for further protection. If your conditioner unit is outdoors, clear away anything that is surrounding the condenser, such as rocks, dirt clods, or leaves. These can get caught in the vents.
If there is anything caught in the vent or there is quite a bit of dirt buildup, gently clean them out and wipe away as much as you can. If you’re able to, use a hose or brush to clean the vents from the inside of the condenser as there will be dirt caught here as well. Turn the unit back on and after allowing it to warm up for a few minutes, check to make sure one of the condenser pipes is warm and the other is slightly cool. That means your ac is working properly again.
This basic cleaning and maintenance routine is wise to perform regularly, especially during peak season use as it will prevent air conditioning repair and lower your utility bills.
Another common conditioning problem is water dripping or pooling near the unit. This is a regular occurrence, particularly in summer when cooling systems are used heavily.
Fortunately, it is often a fairly quick fix. There are drainage tubes that go into the floor on many units. This is where you want to look for problems first. Check them for leaks as this is could be the culprit. If you find you’ve found that one has sprung a leak, you can easily replace it by taking a quick trip to your local hardware store.
Another problem that occurs with these drainage tubs is algae or other obstructions. If the tube looks blocked or is tinged green, you can try to remove it and clear it by cleaning or poking out the debris with a long instrument. A little splash of bleach mixed with water will ensure that an alga doesn’t return anytime soon. Be careful if trying to remove the tube on your own though, as you could cause damage. Sometimes ice can be causing the blockage in which case you’ll want to clean the filer or contact an AC repair technician for assistance.