Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Inspecting your Heater before you turn it ON

The chilly winter season has started, but is your house really ready for the cold? Before you take out your winter wear make sure your house is safe and comfortable with a pre-season evaluation before you turn on the furnace for the very first time this season.

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Not every system is GO

Before you turn on your unit, a thorough pre-season examination is required to ensure proper and safe operation. This preventive but simple maintenance keeps you and your family safe, secured against unproductive operation and wasted power, and most essentially decreasing the likelihood of costly and unexpected repairs on the coldest days of winter.

How do you actually execute a pre-season inspection of your heater?

1.     Make sure you clear the way:

Get rid of any objects that block airflow around the vents, furnace, and registers, storing inflammable items inside a space which is away from the heating furnace. Make sure you clean nearby areas with the help of a vacuum.

2.     Replace air filters:

Make sure you get rid of last season’s air filters and install new ones.

3.     Install or test safety detectors:

Change batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide to make sure everything is working correctly.

4.     Make a test run. 

It is advised to perform a test on your heater before the setting in of chilly winter nights.

Get in touch with a pro.

Experts suggest that you get your unit serviced every year. Professionals can easily recognize a cracked combustion chamber or heat exchanger, which is usually invisible to am amateur as well as get rid of other blockages in the vent that may cause carbon monoxide leaks within the house. Professional inspection may also identify costly duct leaks that reduce levels of comfort and cause a lag in system performance.

In case you notice any peculiar smells when running the heater the first time in the season, there can be a range of probable causes. If you’ve just changed the filter, you can discount any issue with the filter. However, there could be dust on other components of the system such as, the heat exchanger and air ducts that burn off with early operation – normally in half an hour. Foul smells, however, must never be overlooked, as they may indicate towards something important. A smoky smell may indicate towards a chimney/ vent blockage, and a possibly lethal carbon monoxide level. In case the issue persists and you have been able to change the air filter, get in touch with a professional HVAC service provider for maintenance and service immediately. Remember, it is always a good idea to get the heating looked at by a professional instead of doing it yourself. 

Friday, 22 December 2017

Is Your Air Conditioner Making You Sick?

Most of us are extremely thankful for air conditioning – especially those who live in California where high temperatures make it a necessity and not a luxury. That being said, there is a downside to air conditioning that many people are not aware of in terms of health issues. The causes are usually simple and so too are the solutions if you know what needs to be done. These are a few of the most common of them and the fixes.


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Breathing Problems

The stuffiness you feel in your nose or the congestion in your chest may not be simply due to having the temperature set too low. It could be due to the fungi and bacteria that have collected in the air conditioner filters and are being blown around the interiors. Air conditioning units are also high moisture environments that are a breeding ground for black mold. Inhaling the bacteria, fungi or mold can cause all kinds of respiratory problems which, if not dealt with in time, could become serious.

The solution to this problem is a very simple one – ensure that the unit is cleaned regularly and air filters are changed on schedule.

Fatigue, Headaches and Feeling Low

Many people find that after spending a full day in an air conditioned environment they tend to feel more tired than normal and often have headaches or a feeling of general fatigue. Studies have shown that a common cause for this is having the temperature set too low which places an unnatural strain on the metabolism.

The fix is to turn the thermostat up a bit. If that does not help, have it checked by an expert. If it is defective, the room may over cool no matter what the setting is.

Dry Skin and Nasal Passages

The cold dry air that an air conditioner produces causes the natural oils of the skin to dry up and this leads to dry skin and soreness of the nostrils. The more time you spend in an air conditioned room the drier your skin gets.

You  can prevent this from happening by drinking lots of liquids while in an air conditioned environment and by applying moisturizer to the skin.

Colds and Coughs

Studies show that people who spend long hours in air conditioned rooms are often more prone to colds and coughs. The reason for this is not simply that the room is too cold, although that could be part of the problem. What many people do not realize is that just because an air conditioned room restricts the entry of dust and dirt, it does not completely stop it. This dirt can collect in carpets, curtains and crevices, besides collecting in the air filter units. The more time spent in a room with this hidden dust, the more you will be prone to coughs and colds and the more medication you take, the more resistant to it you will become over time.

Like any other appliance, an air conditioning system needs regular maintenance to not just keep it working smoothly and efficiently but also to ensure that the indoor climate it creates is a healthy one. Having your air conditioner regularly serviced and maintained by an air conditioning specialist is the simplest way to be sure that your air conditioning will keep you both comfortable and healthy.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Allergens air filters eliminate

There is so much your HVAC air filters do to ensure your unit is protected. In fact, they even help safeguard your health. High-efficiency HVAC filters can be a very strong line of defense for asthma and allergy sufferers, decreasing triggers by filtering out airborne contaminants to offer clean indoor air.

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Here are some of the contaminants that can cause major issues to your health, but can be kept at bay if you have strong filtration systems installed within your HVAC:

           1.Household dust:

The toxicity of the dust may vary, depending on what it is made of- anything from dirt to skin cells and pollutant particles from power stations to manufacturing facilities.

2.Dust mites
50% of asthma occurrences and 25% of allergies are a consequence of dust mites that consume dust, pollen, and skin cells, and can get inside your nose from furnishings when sleeping.

3. Lint

Lint inside your house can create a dangerous cocktail of chemicals such as, softeners, detergents, and fabric preservatives that can lead to distress and respiratory inflammation, disorders of the central nervous system, and even major diseases like cancer.

4. Bacteria

Bacteria ranging from non-pathogenic to normal to dangerous pneumonia, tuberculosis, and legionella can be found flying around in our houses. Air filters help eliminate them from coming through the HVAC.

5. Pet dander

Small and lightweight, skin cells from pets tend to remain suspended inside the air for a very long time, leading to allergies and asthma in individuals that are affected.

6. Smoke

Smoke from fires and cigarettes discharge toxic matters that can get inside the lungs, leading to a range of reactions from acute bronchitis and asthma attacks to stroke, cancer, heart attack, and death due to long-term exposure.

7. Pollen

Pollens are extremely bothersome for sufferers of allergies, and almost dangerous for those who suffer from asthma, going outside sneezing to lead to anaphylaxis in individuals who are hyper-sensitive.

8. Mold

Almost 20% of people have allergy from mold spores, but even the ones who are not affected by dangerous compounds – mycotoxins – released by certain species, suffering from respiratory issues, flu systems, fatigue and headache.

9. Virus carriers

The best way to stop the spreading of viruses through sneezes and coughs is through the right air filter.

10. Microscopic allergens

The truth is smaller the particle, bigger the chance of bloodstream and lung penetration

For those who suffer from severe asthma, allergies, or have multiple pets, higher filter efficiency can help in breathing easy, but may necessitate a blower motor boost for counteracting the airflow restriction due to filter’s tighter weave. If you wish to make the most out of your HVAC and want to keep the allergies at bay then ensure that your filters are working well. 







Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Don’t overload your HVAC system

The core of an HVAC system, a compressor is important to the cooling and heating of a house. Propelling coolant inside an HVAC emits heat. However, if this heat gets too strong, the system may shut down.

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Compressor Overload: What does it mean?

Thermal overload of an AC compressor is a very common cause of breakdown, and usually happens on the coldest or hottest days of the season, when the system has to work overtime. The overload is responsible for component failures 49% of the times. It is a serious and expensive problem if it progresses. Depending on the system’s age, it may result in you having to completely replace the system.

Compressor Burn Out: What causes it?

The main causes of compressor burnout is neglect by homeowners, careless maintenance and installation, including,
      
  1. Dirty condenser coils.
      2. A dirty air filter.

      3. Undercharged or overcharged refrigeration system

      4.Refrigerant leaks.

      5. Acid burnout.

      6. Other heat sources situated near the condenser (hot water pipes, dryer vent).
      7. Improper airflow due to poor system location (covered by deck, weeds or bushes).

      8. Improper airflow due to debris (trash within external system components, grass                     clippings).

      9. Failure of other components (capacitor, fan motor, reversing valve, thermal expansion           valve, refrigerant lines, etc.).

     10. Corroded wires and loose connections, or inadequate electricity supply into home, leading to             high amperage / low voltage problems.

How do you prevent compressor overloads from damaging the whole system?


Never neglect homeowner maintenance.

It is important that you change the air filter after every three months. Also, make sure you clear debris around the external system, preserving 18-36 inches of clearance at all sides.

Hire a HVAC professional you can trust.

Extending the compressor’s life requires accurate installation performed by a knowledgeable professional, and routine professional maintenance that includes verification of refrigerant levels, connections, lubrication, coil cleaning, and maintenance of operation as per the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure system longevity.

Consider extra protection.

Adding a compressor overload protector can safeguard your HVAC system. Located nearby the condenser, this special sensor monitors temperatures, shutting down the compressor temporarily to prevent it from overheating. By turning your system off to let the compressor cool, can help prevent thermal overload of the AC compressor and give you an indication that your system needs repair before the problems become too costly.

In case your compressor is overheating, it is important to understand why, as just replacing components may lead to the problem repeating itself again. In case your system is experiencing increased incidence of overheating, make sure you call for help immediately. The professionals will check your system and find out what is wrong. It is a good idea to hire a service that has good reviews.


Monday, 25 September 2017

AC smells and what they mean?

Sometimes your air conditioner may emit the most unusual smells, refraining you from running the system to prevent the whole house from stinking. Here are a few common AC smells and their meaning.

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Stinky feet

When stagnant water sits inside a clogged drain pan, it can create smell similar to stinky feet. While the smell is not a health hazard it does make one very uncomfortable. Moreover, standing water can quickly cause mold growth. Begin by unclogging the drain pan and replacing the filter. It is a good idea to call a professional if you are having a hard time locating the problem.

Musty Odor

If your house begins to smell musty, this could indicate towards mildew or mold growing somewhere inside the air conditioning. This should not come as a surprise as AC units get rid of excess moisture from the air as they cool. The process of dehumidification causes the water to amass on the evaporator coils and it begins to drip inside the drain pan. In case the water does not drain away or evaporate, mold starts growing in merely 24 to 48 hours leading to the musty odor.

It is best to replace the air filter to make sure the drain pan remains empty.

Rotting Garbage

A rodent or a small bird can easily get into air ducts. If by chance the animal gets stuck inside, it may die and start decomposing. Then, whenever you turn on the AC, it will blow in the smell of rotting garbage. While the thought may make you nauseous, a dead animal is not dangerous. Still, you should undoubtedly call up a professional to remove the remains and clean up the ductwork.

Smell of Vinegar

Does the house air conditioner emit smell similar to that of vinegar? The smell may go away if you shut off the AC and may come back if you start the machine. The scenario perfectly describes a motor releasing ozone. The strong vinegar odor is harmless but if you have allergies, consider calling a professional.

Old Tobacco
Stale tobacco smoke that comes out of an AC vent is very unpleasant, but the odor simply means the air filter and condenser coil have soaked up old cigarette smoke. In case you smoke heavily, it is a good idea to schedule regular AC maintenance to prevent the residue of smoke on the coils from causing problems.

An air filter replacement and good cleaning are normally all you have to do to eliminate old tobacco smoke from the AC vents.

If you are looking for the best way to get rid of awkward smells from your AC then it is best to hire a professional HVAC maintenance provider. The provider can answer all your questions and perform the required repairs and cleaning to make your house smell better while the air conditioner is running.

Monday, 28 August 2017

How the rains affect your HVAC?

Showers can sometimes turn into a foot of floodwater that plays havoc on offices and homes. How do heavy rains affect your HVAC? While your unit is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions with the interior components secured by the best technology. The condenser and the compressor in the outdoor unit are made of copper, aluminum, and other such metals, and are crated in such a way that they can handle heavy rains while still dehumidifying and cooling the house effectively.

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Here are a few problems that the HVAC may face:

Damage due to storms

Excessive rains with strong winds carrying debris can affect the condenser fan grille or may carry twigs, leaves, and dirt within your system. It is important to give the exterior of your unit a thorough check after every storm.

Flooding

Localized flooding can cause harm to the electronics within the air conditioning system if the waters cross fifteen inches. In case you experience such severe flooding after heavy rain, it is best to get your unit inspected professionally. Due to this reason, it is instructed to install the exterior HVAC unit in an area that is flood safe. Venting and ductwork under beam and pier houses should also be secured against flood water for making sure the operation runs safely and your family’s health remains intact.

Corrosion

Corrosion can happen inside a system that has been wrapped improperly when not in use. If you like to cover the HVAC with a cover that is commercially available, appropriate ventilation holes are necessary. Do not cover the HVAC with a garbage bag or plastic wrap. Condensation and moisture can build up and get trapped within the system, decaying rubber wire and rusting and corroding metal parts. Lack of any airing also promotes the breeding of mildew and mold, and creates an appealing nesting ground for vermin and insects.

How to protect your HVAC?

Humidity and water are a continuous force against HVAC systems, even while it does not rain. HVAC systems are well equipped to get rid of water and humidity levels in the air, but when the rains get heavy and push humidity to greater heights, the HVAC system has to work harder. A very common problem faced by homeowners is the water leakage coming from the components. One of the best ways to ensure that your HVAC works well throughout the year is to perform regular maintenance of the HVAC system. This ensures that there is enough volume within the drip pan for collection of water, and assure that the pumping system is suitable for emptying that collected water.



Flooding can be another issue. Is the exterior part of the HVAC sitting inside an area of the yard that offers no grading or drainage to get rid of the water? Is the HVAC unit installed on a roof surface which is a flat? When you look at the placement of your system with such a mindset, you can easily analyze the flood risks of the HVAC.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Benefits of Geothermal HVAC Systems

If you’re looking for an HVAC system that makes use of the earth’s energy for cooling or heating your space then investing in a geothermal system is a great idea. These HVAC machines operate by cooling and heating your house using the fairly constant temperature under the surface of the earth. When properly equipped, these systems can also supply the house with hot water for free.

Do not confuse geothermal HVAC systems with geothermal power plants. The latter generates electricity by using the earth’s core. However, a geothermal heating system uses the earth’s crust to cool and heat a home; there is no electricity generation involved.

How do they work?

Operation during winters: The pipes underground, also known as the ground loop, circulate water which in turn absorbs the natural heat of the earth and brings it to the heat pump installed indoors. This heat pump excerpts the heat from the water and distributes it within the house as warm air. Once the water’s heat is removed, the same water is re-circulated for collecting more heat.

Operation during summers: Indoor heat pumps suck the hot air from the house to get rid of the heat. This in turn leaves cool air behind to be dispersed through the vents. The heat that is removed from the house is released into the earth with the help of the ground loop. The ecologists acknowledge and regard geothermal systems as the most environmentally clean, energy efficient, and cost-effective systems available in the market.

Here are a few benefits that make these systems so lucrative to homeowners.

More energy efficient:

According to experts, almost 70 percent of the energy used by geothermal HVAC systems comes from renewable energy sources within the earth. A geothermal HVAC system which is energy-efficient is approximately seventy five percent more competent in comparison to an oil furnace, 40 percent more competent when compared to a gas furnace and 43 percent more efficient when it is operated in the cooling mode.

More economical:

While the installation cost of geothermal systems is at the higher side, the HVAC system will gradually pay for itself as it will reduce the monthly utility bills and decrease your annual cost or maintenance. In comparison to a conventional system, you will get a much higher investment return when you buy a geothermal system.

Environmentally sustainable:

Geothermal cooling and heating systems are known to be one of the safest option available in the market when you keep environmental friendliness in mind. In fact, if you install a geothermal HVAC system in your residence, you basically plant seven hundred and fifty trees or reduce pollution amounting to two running vehicles.

Moreover, a geothermal residential HVAC system does not require fossil fuels to function, which is great for the environment as it eliminates threats resulting from combustion. If you invest in a geothermal system, there is absolutely no need to worry about carbon monoxide or the dangers it poses to the safety of your family.