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Tips for troubleshooting an air conditioning system

3 Common Repairs for a Gas Fireplace

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Common Repairs for a Gas Fireplace

A fireplace warms your home and gives it character. The average family spends $2000 on utility bills each year, and half of that goes towards heating and cooling. When the season change and the temperature drops, you must use more heating. Gas fireplaces are one of the ways that homeowners keep their house warm throughout the winter. A quality gas fireplace provides your home with clean combustion, accurate temperature control, low maintenance and a fire that looks similar to traditional wood. However, this does not mean you do not have to make a gas fireplace repair. Read on to find out about common problems and how you can resolve it. Soot Buildup Gas fireplaces burn cleaner than wood fires, but soot can build up over time. It is hard to see the soot with the naked eye. You can check using a white cloth by rubbing it on the ceramic logs that are in the firebox. Your fire should be burning when doing this. If your white cloth has huge black marks, then you are at the start of a soot issue. There are several things you can do to prevent this problem. It helps to regularly inspect your combustion screen. If you find soot, then you should clean it according to the owner’s manual. You also want to make sure that your damper is open and not damaged. A damper is like a vent, that opens and closes. It should be in a fully open position. Problems With the Pilot Light Pilot problems are a common problem with this heating system. This light is kept lit by a gas source. If it goes out, you will not be able to start a fire. It is also dangerous to have a faulty pilot light. It can cause an explosion. At this point, you will need to call a technician to inspect your system. Faulty Thermopile A faulty thermopile can prevent gas from getting to your fireplace. It is an electronic device that changes thermal energy into electrical energy. A good indication of a problem is when the pilot light almost comes on, but quickly goes back out. If so, you will need to have it replaced. Inspecting your heating system on a regular basis prevents unexpected repairs. It helps to get your fireplace diagnosed by a professional when a problem occurs. You do not want to guess and make the problem worse. For more information or assistance, contact companies like A One Heating & Air...

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Preparing Your Home For An AC Installation

Posted by on Oct 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Preparing Your Home For An AC Installation

If your cooling costs are getting out of hand, it is a great idea to buy a new, highly efficient AC system. On the other hand, your AC unit is just one element of your home’s defenses against heat gain. In order to reduce your cooling costs as much as possible, you must also be willing to address other components of your home, including your ducts and windows.  The Problem with Ducts As air from your AC unit flows through your ducts, it does not just flow forward. Instead, it tries to flow in every direction. This means that it exerts outward pressure on your duct system, and because the walls of your ducts resist, the air then has to flow forward. Over time, the outward pressure created by the air flowing through your ducts can undermine the seals at the joints in your ducts. When this happens, air can leak out of your ducts, thus decreasing the volume of air available to cool your home. In fact, leaky ducts can decrease your air conditioner’s efficiency by up to 40%. If your ducts are hidden behind the drywall in your home, you will have to hire a duct expert to inspect your ducts and repair them as necessary.  The Role that Windows Play The problem with windows is not so much that cold air can leak around your windows. Instead, the sun’s UV rays can stream right through your windows and then heat up the interior surfaces of your home. Once these surfaces heat up, they heat the air in your home. This is known as heat gain. To decrease heat gain without cutting off your view of the outside world, you should install a reflective window film. This film will act as a filter to deflect and thus remove the sun’s UV rays before they have a chance to heat up your home. The right window film can reduce your cooling costs by up to 23%.  When you set out to reduce cooling costs, it is important to look at every component of your home’s defenses against heat gain. The system that produces cold air is just as important as the system that delivers that cool air to you home. Likewise, your home’s insulation envelope plays a key role, and windows are a perennial weak spot of the insulation envelope. While your ability to reduce your home’s cooling costs will vary depending on your location and the individual characteristics of your home, any steps you take to rein in your cooling costs will be worth it over the long run. Talk to a company like Action Air of Florida to learn more about how to improve the efficiency of your air conditioning...

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Can’t Get Comfortable Despite Running The Air Conditioner? Blame The Humidity

Posted by on Jul 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can’t Get Comfortable Despite Running The Air Conditioner? Blame The Humidity

Are you constantly readjusting the thermostat in your home all summer long, trying to find the right temperature that makes you feel comfortable despite the heat outside? If you keep going between “a little too hot” and “too cold,” without ever finding the right spot in the middle, the problem may not be with your air conditioner. Worse, continuing to adjust the temperature up and down may be putting unnecessary strain on your AC system as a whole. Here’s what you should know. The perfect indoor temperature may be higher than you think. Experts suggest that the ideal indoor temperature during air conditioner season is no lower than 78 degrees Fahrenheit, in order to maximize your home’s energy efficiency, at least during the daylight hours. Nighttime is a different situation—temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit are known to disrupt sleep. Most studies recommend lowering the nighttime temp to about 65 degrees Fahrenheit instead. The humidity level, not the heat, is what makes you uncomfortable. What makes people feel uncomfortable in the daytime at a higher temperature isn’t really the heat—it’s the humidity. High-efficiency homes, which are sealed up tighter than homes in the past, tend to trap humidity inside—in the summer, heat builds up inside a house and the humid atmosphere is what makes people feel sweaty and warm at the same temperatures that they’re comfortable in during the winter months or while outside. Ideally, indoor humidity levels should be about 45 percent. Anything higher than that is what will start people reaching for the thermostat because the air gets a sticky or “muggy” feeling to it. The solution is to add a component to your air conditioner. Contact your air conditioning service company to discuss the addition of a whole-home dehumidifier to your home. The dehumidifier can usually be installed on your existing unit, or you can have it installed with a new system. A dehumidifier attached to a central air unit can monitor your home’s indoor humidity levels automatically and make adjustments to keep the air’s moisture levels at an even consistency both day and night, making a slightly warmer temperature more comfortable. In return, your AC unit won’t have to work as hard, or run as much. The average cost for a whole house dehumidifier is between $900-$1200. While you can use portable dehumidifiers instead, which are less expensive, they also lack power and only work for the rooms in which they’re located.  For more information on how you can stop adjusting controls on your AC unit with each shift in the weather, talk with a local air conditioner installation...

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4 Benefits Of Attic Fans: Should You Have One?

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Benefits Of Attic Fans: Should You Have One?

Attic fans are beneficial to saving money on energy costs in various ways. Not only does a fan improve the circulation of air, it reduces the temperatures in the attic. In turn, this will eliminate a lot of the heat in the living area of your home. Reducing the temperature of the floor of the attic will provide a cooler ceiling. The benefits are limitless. 1. Improves Comfort Level and Temperature of Home Attic vents can help to keep attics somewhat cooler. However, if the home has a temperature in the 80’s, it is possible for the attic temperature to reach temperatures exceeding 150 degrees. Fans circulate air, which can reduce the temperature in the attic considerably—5 to 10 degrees cooler than the outside temperatures during the hottest part of the day. Additionally, since hot air rises in the summer and falls in the winter, having an attic fan can help to circulate the air in the attic throughout your home, which helps to even out temperatures in areas other than the attic. 2. Decreased Risk of Ice Damming In areas that have a lot of snow, ice damming can be a problem when the ice freezes in the gutters and eaves of the house. When they begin to melt, it can cause damage to the shingles and the water might begin to back up into the attic. The water may work its way to the home’s ceiling, which causes even more problems. The circulating air from the fan can increase the temperature during the winter months, which reduces ice buildup.   3. Reduces the Strain on the HVAC System No matter what type of roof is in your home, an attic fan can take the pressure off of the heating and air conditioning unit that keeps your home comfortable. The ventilation that is given by the fans can prevent moisture buildup, as well reduce strain on the HVAC unit. 4. Reduces the Risk of Mold and Mildew Moist, warm air inside your home is increased during the winter months. The colder side of the roof meets the warmth, which creates condensation, and can produce mold and mildew. If you keep a more even temperature in the attic, the roof won’t need replacement or repairs as often. Fans can aid in the process by reducing the moisture and extending the roof’s life. If you are living in a healthier and energy efficient home, chances are a good attic fan is in place. The added ventilation can help remove harmful mold and mildew from the attic areas, and possibly prevent them from entering your living spaces. Having enough attic vents and being sure that you have everything properly sealed can also keep the hot air away from your living space. After all, you want to enjoy your time in your home.  Contact a business, such as CNR Air Conditioning Inc, for more...

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Moving into a Home with Propane Heat for the First Time

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Moving into a Home with Propane Heat for the First Time

If you’re moving into a home with a propane-based heating system for the first time, you probably have a lot of questions. From the way it’s delivered and stored to the way it burns, propane differs from the more popular natural gas in many ways. Thankfully, it’s a pretty safe and simple fuel to utilize once you know the basics. Here’s what you need to know as a new resident in a home with propane heat. All about the Propane Tank Instead of being continuously delivered through pipelines like natural gas, propane is stored on your property in a large tank. Take a minute to inspect this tank more closely. You’ll notice that there is a shut-off valve. This should be labeled, and it’s important that you know where it is in case you ever have to turn off the propane supply to your home because there’s a leak or some other emergency. Also make note of the tank gauge. This gauge shows you how much propane is left. You’ll want to check it every week or so until you get a handle on how quickly you burn through propane. When the tank gets low, you’ll need to call a propane supply company to come fill it. A good guideline is to make this call when the tank reaches ¼ capacity so that you have plenty of fuel to tide you over if your supplier can’t make it out for a few more days. Propane is stored in the tank as a liquid. It flows into your home and to the furnace through a system of pipes, which usually run below ground. All about Your Propane Furnace and Propane Safety Your furnace generates heat by burning the propane. As long as your furnace is in good condition, the propane should burn cleanly and result in very little exhaust. What little is produced will be vented out of your home via a chimney or PVC vent pipe (depending on your furnace’s design). You should not smell propane when your furnace is operating. If you do smell an odor similar to skunk spray or rotten eggs, this indicates a propane leak. Turn off your furnace immediately and then go outside and turn the shut-off valve on your propane tank. Do not return to your home, as inhaling propane can be dangerous. Then, call your propane retailer or HVAC technician from a service like Nebraska Heating & Air to come investigate and find the source of the leak. Propane leaks and other issues are rare, but it is important to know what to do on the off chance that something goes wrong. Propane is a very clean, safe heating option, and if you keep the advice above in mind, you’ll have an easy time relying on it as your heating...

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Have You Considered Radiant Space Heaters?

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Have You Considered Radiant Space Heaters?

If you are thinking about getting a space heater, then you should know that there are quite a few different types to choose from. Your situation might call for a radiant space heater, a convection space heater, or even a hybrid space heater. To help you decide which is best for you, here is an overview of one of those: the radiant space heater. What is a radiant space heater? While the idea might seem initially scary, radiant space heaters work via radiation. This sounds a lot more complicated and dangerous than it actually is, since this basically just means that the heater transfers heat directly into objects in the room. While convection heaters add heat to the air and then move that air around the room to gradually warm everything up, radiant heaters can deliver that heat much faster and directly to you. This type of radiation is totally unrelated to gamma radiation, which is probably what first comes to mind when you hear the word radiation. Radiant space heaters are just as safe as any other type of heater, and while you do need to be careful about fire hazards, that is a concern with all heaters, rather than radiant heaters alone. What does a radiant space heater bring to the table? As was mentioned earlier, radiant space heaters are very quick at warming up objects in a room. This means that you will feel warm, your couch will feel warm, and everything that you touch will be nice and cozy. Like other space heaters, radiant units are also simply cheaper than using a central heating system, particularly in terms of upfront costs. Buying a space heater is going to be much cheaper than almost any other type of heating, and even though the general long-term efficiency might not be better than a central heater’s, there are situations where a radiant heater can be more efficient. For example, if you are looking to heat a single room, then a radiant heater in that room will focus all of its output on your goal. However, a central heater in the same situation would probably waste a lot of power on heating other rooms in the house, which could end up wasting you a good deal of money. Why would a radiant space heater be a bad idea? Unfortunately, the effects of a radiant space heater do not persist long after the unit has been turned off. Radiant space heaters can heat things up quickly, but they don’t necessarily stay heated for very long. While convection heaters can heat the air and create an environment where the heat will remain present for much longer, radiant space heaters will not. For more information on the type of heating that will be best for you, contact One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning or a similar...

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How To Clean Your AC Duct System If Your Air Quality Is Poor

Posted by on Jan 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Clean Your AC Duct System If Your Air Quality Is Poor

Have you been seeing more dust lately or getting sick? Cleaning your ducts is a necessary maintenance task if you want to ensure that your home has clean air. Most homeowners hire an HVAC contractor to clean their ducts. If you don’t have the time to do this necessary task, you can have a professional check it out for you. However, if you have a limited budget and a few basic tools, you can clean your own ducts quite effectively. This article explains some great DIY duct cleaning tips. Removing and Cleaning the Registers One of the most vital parts of an AC duct system is the registers. They are usually the first to get clogged because of the small space between the vents. Also, they can get clogged from the inside and outside of the register, so they constantly need to be cleaned. However, even if you clean your walls and registers on a regular basis, they can get clogged. In fact, simply wiping down the outside of your register can push dust in between the ducts and cause clogs. For an adequate cleaning you will need to remove the registers. This is easily done with a handheld Phillips head screwdriver. Wipe down both sides of the register with a wet rag. If you notice any black spots, clean them well because it could be a sign of mold. If you notice that your registers get clogged soon after a cleaning, you should then proceed to check and change the filters. Cleaning the Ducts Now that the registers are off of the wall, you can access and clean the ducts. Most people will not have a duct cleaning tool, but you can fashion one out of existing things you might already have around the house. A powerful flashlight will also be necessary so you can actually see what you are cleaning. For instance, a telescoping paint pole or broom stick can be useful. You can screw on a mop head (or even tape it if necessary) that you can then use to wipe down the sidewalls of the ducts. A slightly wet rag taped to the handle end of a broomstick is also very effective. Whatever you use for wiping can be aided with some watered down all-purpose cleaner. Once you are doing wiping things down, use a shop vac (with a long hose) to pull out any other debris.  A simple duct cleaning can immediately alleviate allergy problems and even prevent mold formation. If you neglect to regularly clean your ducts, they can becomes so dirty that they can become very expensive to clean. Yearly duct cleanings are the best way to make sure you heating and AC systems are clean and energy...

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The Job Of An HVAC Manufacturers Representative

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Job Of An HVAC Manufacturers Representative

The three functions of HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) are interrelated, as they provide comfort and optimal indoor air quality at reasonable installation, operation and maintenance costs. An HVAC manufacturers representative is the intermediary between the manufacturer of HVAC equipment and the HVAC end user.  The HVAC manufacturers representative contacts current and potential clients to install new HVAC equipment or upgrade existing HVAC equipment. This is done to provide an efficient system at reasonable operating costs. To do this, an HVAC manufacturers representative must have a thorough knowledge of both the manufacturers’ and the end users’ areas of operation. Heating System and Equipment – The central heating system generates heat for a building from a centralized source such as a furnace, boiler, circulating water, steam, or air pump. The HVAC manufacturers representative knows how to operate the heating system within separate zones in a building to accommodate the different activities being performed in the separate zones.  Ventilation System and Equipment – The ventilation system and exhaust mechanism filters and exchanges existing air within a building to remove unwanted odors, heat, moisture, and dust and replaces it with clean, oxygenated air. An HVAC manufacturers representative can operate the exhaust fans within a building to exchange existing interior air and replace it with fresh air.  Air Conditioning System and Equipment – The air conditioning equipment installed within a building is synchronized with the building’s heating and ventilation equipment. An HVAC manufacturers representative knows the installation of a particular building’s air conditioning system and can demonstrate how to control this system for the building owners and occupants. There is a high demand for HVAC manufacturers representatives in the HVAC field because all buildings need efficient and up-to-date heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. HVAC manufacturers representatives job duties may include working with existing clients to upgrade their systems, demonstrating an optimal HVAC system to a potential new client, scheduling site installations, as well as negotiating service contracts and prices. HVAC manufacturers representative’s salary is often based on a commission for new sales and/or bonuses for sales of upgrades to existing clients. The approximate income for an HVAC manufacturers representative is $65,000 per year. The HVAC manufacturers representative works with building and business owners to provide a healthy and comfortable climate for the occupants of a building. With this common goal, the appropriate equipment, and the knowledge of the systems, the HVAC manufacturers representative can improve the efficiency of the HVAC system at a reasonable...

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For Parents: Four Things To Do Before You Turn The Furnace On

Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on For Parents: Four Things To Do Before You Turn The Furnace On

When you’re a parent, your children influence the way you do almost everything – even maintaining your HVAC system! Before you turn the heat on this fall, here are four things you should do to make sure your kids (and your heating system) stay safe and sound. Check the cold air returns for toys and other debris. It’s easy for little items like doll heads and toy trucks to get dropped into cold air returns. If left in the returns, they may block the flow of air – not to mention get so dirty you never want to use them again. Check your cold air returns for toys before you turn the heat on, and if you find any, wipe them down with a disinfectant before giving them back to your kids. Warn the kids about “hot” air vents. Your heating vents should not become so hot that they would cause serious burns, but they might still cause some soreness to delicate little fingers. Before you turn the heat on, show your kids where the air ducts are (assuming they are within reach of your little one), and explain that your child should not touch them because they will be hot. Change your furnace filter. Granted, you should change your furnace filter regularly whether or not you have kids, but it’s especially important to do so if you have little ones in the home. A clogged, old furnace filter could result in numerous allergens like dust mites and mold spores being distributed through the air in your home, especially when you first turn on the air and loosen any dust that has built up in the ducts over the summer. Change the filter to ensure your little ones don’t end up coughing and sneezing unnecessarily. Make sure the vents in your children’s rooms are all open and unblocked. When the first cold night hits and you turn on the heat, you want to be sure your little one’s room gets warm and cozy. That won’t happen if the vent is blocked by furniture or toys. Check to make sure the vents are open and unblocked now, so you’re not rushing to rearrange furniture or find a new place for the play set when it’s time to turn on the heat. When you’re a parent, keeping your HVAC system in proper working order is more important than ever, since you don’t want your little ones to have to spend days or nights in chilly rooms. If you are having any issues with your system, have an HVAC specialist like R & B Heating & Air Conditioning come check it out before the truly cold weather...

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Heating Costs Leaving You In The Cold? 4 Ways To Reduce Your Heating Costs

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Heating Costs Leaving You In The Cold? 4 Ways To Reduce Your Heating Costs

Heating your home can get expensive, especially with the cost of heating oil going up. One cold snap can destroy your household heating budget. You don’t have to spend more money on heating oil just to stay warm. Here are some simple techniques that can help you stay warm and use less heating oil. Clean Your Vents Put your hand up to your vent while the heater is running. You should be able to feel the air on your hands. If you can’t, take a small piece of paper and hold it up to the vent. If the paper doesn’t move, you should clean the vents. Dirt, dust and other debris can collect inside the vents, which can prevent the air from flowing through to your home. Dirty vents also make your heater work harder, which makes you burn heating oil faster. Here’s a simple way to clean your vents. Directions Using a screwdriver, remove the vent covers. Place the hose attachment on your vacuum. Vacuum the vent, reaching as far as you can into the vents. Replace the vent cover. Go Programmable If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you may be wasting heating oil on a daily basis. A programmable thermostat will allow you to automatically adjust the temperature throughout the day. Programming your thermostat to reduce the temperature at night and while you’re away from home, will prevent you from heating your home when it’s not needed. Lower the Temperature a Few Degrees You may think that you have to make a substantial reduction in the temperature to save oil and money. However, reducing the temperature just a few degrees will save you money and reduce the amount of heating oil you use. When you’re trying to reduce your heating bill, every degree counts. Research has found that you can save about 2.5% on your heating bill for every degree you reduce the temperature. So, lowering your thermostat just three degrees will reduce your heating bill by 7.5%. Use a Humidifier If the idea of lowering the temperature during the winter has you worried about the chill, try installing a humidifier. You can also add moisture to your home by running hot water in your shower for a few minutes, or by boiling a pan of water and allowing the steam to flow through the house. Adding moisture to the air will help keep your home warmer, even when you lower the thermostat a few degrees. With the cost of heating oil going up, you’ll want to find ways to save money while still keeping your house warm. These simple tips will help you do...

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