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3 Important Factors When Choosing Air Filters For Your Central AC Unit

Posted by on 8:34 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Important Factors When Choosing Air Filters For Your Central AC Unit

Air filters play a vital role in removing dirt and debris that could enter your HVAC system and cause problems. You need to regularly change or clean your air filter in order to have a fully functional air conditioning system. The owner’s manual can give you some general instructions and guidance for choosing the best type of filters for your particular unit. But there are a few other qualities to look for when choosing the best filters for your central air conditioning unit. Look for Highest MERV Rating Minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating refers to how effective or efficient a particular filter is at cleaning the air. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter is at cleaning the air due to having smaller holes that can trap more dirt and debris than a filter with larger holes. You should first find the type of air filter that matches your air conditioner unit make and model. Then compare filters of that type to find the one with the best MERV rating. Note that the higher MERV ratings do come with slightly higher price tags. If budget is a concern, purchase the highest MERV rating you can afford and you will still see an efficiency improvement. Avoid Cheap Fiberglass Filters with Cardboard Frames The cheapest air filters on the market have a blue fiberglass filter housed in a hard cardboard frame. If you can’t afford a better filter, this type will still work but won’t do the job particularly well. The fiberglass has fairly large holes that let through more contaminants and the frame can create an imperfect fit that lets contaminants in around the edges. If you need to watch your budget, try to at least upgrade to a pleated air filter, which should still cost less than a couple of lattes. The pleated filters have a porous design that allows for decent air filtration without costing you any of that precious circulating air. Use a High-Efficiency Filter if Anyone has Respiratory Problems Do you or a family member suffer from allergies or asthma? You will want to put a bit more money into your air filter to give you the lowest chances of breathing in irritants. You don’t want to go for an actual HEPA filter, which blocks out too much circulating air to work in an HVAC system, but rather with the highest efficiency pleated type filter you can find. The high efficiency pleated models are also sometimes coated in a chemical that can block out bacteria and other advanced irritants beyond catching the dirt and dust. Still have questions about filters? Call a heating and air conditioning repairs service, such as Winters Heating Cooling, for more...

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Pitfalls Of Saving On Heating Costs: How A Cold Home Can Cause Damage To Your Property

Posted by on 5:58 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pitfalls Of Saving On Heating Costs: How A Cold Home Can Cause Damage To Your Property

If one of your goals this winter is to conserve your heating fuel to help save money, be sure to consider the risks that may come with doing that. Keeping the house too cold can come with many problems, especially in freezing climates, so it’s important not to keep your house too cold and to have a heating repair company on call for emergencies. The following are some issues that can result from low uses of heat: Pipe Will Freeze One major risk–when the house is too cold–is frozen water pipes. The residual water left in the pipes will freeze and cause the pipes to possibly rupture. Water will expand and cause too much pressure on the walls of the pipes. Even if they do not rupture, they will prevent any water flow into your house until they thaw. Electronic Damage A house that is too cold can also have an impact on electronics, especially computer equipment. Homes that are not adequately heated will result in these delicate pieces of equipment to become too cold. Once the temperature begins to increase by turning the temperature up, it can cause condensation to accumulate inside the circuits in the equipment. This will result in a short or other malfunction that will prevent the item from functioning properly. Damaged Ceilings If you have ceilings that are made from plaster, it can crack when the temperatures get too cold. Plaster is very sensitive to cold and can become warped in harsh temperatures. After it warps, it will then begin to crack, leading to major ceiling damage. Dead Houseplants Houseplants will probably suffer the most in a cold home. If you have tropical plants in particular, they are surely going to get damaged beyond repair. They need a certain climate in order to survive. A sudden dip into cold weather can be detrimental to them. If you want to save money by keeping the heat off or at a low level, at least find one place in the house to keep the houseplants so that they will make it through the winter. Saving money is important to a lot of homeowners, but a cold house is likely going to cost you more money in the long run. You can end up having to pay for major damages as a result of the indoor temperature. One thing you can do to help save some money on your heating costs is to contact your fuel company. Ask them what temperature you home should be in order to heat it adequately without utilizing all of your fuel. This way, you can save money while keeping your home free of...

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Creative Ways To Conceal Your A/C Unit

Posted by on 10:02 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Creative Ways To Conceal Your A/C Unit

You love having central air conditioning inside your house, but you don’t love the unattractive A/C unit outside your home. The outdoor A/C unit is a necessary appliance, but that doesn’t mean you have to see it every time you’re in your yard. These creative ideas for concealing your A/C unit are simple to implement and will make a big difference in the aesthetics of your outdoor space. As long as you leave enough space around the unit for accessibility by the air conditioning repairman, you won’t run into problems with the following ideas. 1. Plant Mature Shrubbery You can accomplish two yard improvements by planting mature shrubbery around your outdoor A/C unit. The shrubbery will enhance your yard’s landscaping while it simultaneously hides the giant air conditioning unit. Suitable shrubbery choices that provides consistent and uniform coverage include boxwood hedges, such as Hicksii Yew. Mature shrubbery will cost a lot more than younger plants, but you’ll avoid waiting years for the shrubbery to grow. Your local nursery will be able to provide delivery and planting services. Be sure to supervise the digging process so that no wiring or conduits are damaged that run from the unit to your house. 2. Install Lattice Fencing Lattice fencing is a simple solution to conceal your A/C unit. Lattice fencing panels also satisfy the need for your A/C unit to have plenty of air circulation around it. If you dislike being able to see through portions of the lattice, you can either weave faux vines through the lattice, or plant fast growing vines at the base of the panel. You can purchase lattice fence panels from major hardware stores in a variety of materials including vinyl and wood. You can also customize the look of your lattice fencing by either purchasing it in a color of your choice or painting it at home. 3. Make a Vertical Garden A vertical garden placed in front of your outdoor air conditioning unit will disguise it even though you’re actually drawing attention to the area. This attractive outdoor feature can be used to grow flowers or even some vegetables and herbs. Pre-made vertical gardens can be purchased online and in big box hardware stores. You’ll be able to pick up relatively mature plantings for your vertical garden at most plant nurseries or many hardware stores. Whichever option you decide on for concealing your outdoor air conditioning unit, remember to leave enough space around it so the AC repair professional can easily access the...

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4 Warning Signs That Your Old A/C System Needs A Permanent Time-Out

Posted by on 3:52 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Warning Signs That Your Old A/C System Needs A Permanent Time-Out

Nothing lasts forever, especially when it comes to your home’s heating and cooling systems. Sticking with an A/C unit that’s well past its prime could prove a poor decision in more ways than one. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t recognize the warning signs of an A/C system that’s on its last legs, resulting in a premature breakdown that could leave them without air conditioning. Here are 4 warning signs to look for in an old A/C system that needs replacement. It’s Been at Least 10 Years Since You Last Replaced Your A/C When was the last time you had your A/C system replaced? If the answer is “over a decade ago,” then chances are you’ll want to seriously consider replacing it as soon as possible. Although a typical A/C system can last for 15 to 20 years, according to the US Department of Energy, most experts recommend taking a close look at your A/C system if you haven’t replaced it within the past 10 years and make plans accordingly. It Can’t Keep Up with Your Home’s Cooling Demands If you’re wondering why your A/C seems to struggle to keep your home cool, it could be because your unit is losing its touch. As your A/C system gets older, it slowly loses its overall performance and energy efficiency. Along with dirt and debris accumulation, overall age-related wear and tear can cause your A/C system to lose 5 percent of its cooling capacity with each passing year. It Uses Far More Energy Than Normal Thanks to cumulative wear and tear on various components throughout its lifespan, older A/C units may start using an increasingly large amount of energy as they age. This explains the increased electricity costs that many older A/C users face during the summer months. With nearly half of your home’s energy usage devoted towards heating and cooling, you’ll know when something’s amiss with your A/C system’s energy consumption. The Repair Bills Keep Adding Up Aging A/C units are often the subject of frequent repairs. Minor A/C repairs can cost an average of $315, according to HomeAdvisor, while major repair issues such as a failed compressor can cost up to $1,800 to repair, depending on the size of the unit. When the repair costs reach and even exceed the average cost of a brand-new A/C system, it may be time to consider replacing your current A/C system with something newer and more reliable. To learn more, contact a company like Tropic Air Conditioning...

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Ductless Air Conditioners Vs Heat Pumps

Posted by on 9:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Ductless Air Conditioners Vs Heat Pumps

Air conditioning can be a pretty tricky beast since it can be very difficult to find a solution that is perfect for your home. Some air conditioners are better in certain circumstances, but picking the wrong air conditioner can end up costing you quite a bit in operating costs. To help you find the right air conditioner for you, here is a comparison of two popular types: What is a ductless air conditioner? A ductless air conditioner manages the feat of cooling your entire home without needing to rely on a ventilation system. With other options, you need to choose between the two, but a ductless unit allows you to have the best of both worlds. To elaborate, central air conditioners (and heaters) rely on your ventilation system to move air throughout your home. Ductless units get around this by using remote nodes in each room that you want to cool. Cold air is transferred from the central unit to these units, which means that it doesn’t need to go through air ducts in your walls. What is a heat pump? Heat pumps are reversible air conditioners, meaning that they can also be used to heat your home. There are a variety of different types of heat pumps, with two of the most important types being air-source and geothermal units. Air-source heat pumps draw heat from the air, which means that there are fairly easy to set up and install. However, they can lose a bit of efficiency when it comes to extremely cold weather, where there isn’t too much heat to find in the air. Geothermal heat pumps instead take heat from the soil beneath your home, which is much more reliable when it gets particularly cold. On the other hand, they do require a substantially larger upfront investment, since there is a bit of excavation involved. When is a ductless unit better than a heat pump? If you don’t have good ventilation, then a ductless unit can be much more valuable. Similarly, if you live somewhere that gets very cold and aren’t willing to invest in an expensive geothermal installation, then a ductless unit can be preferable. When is a heat pump better than a ductless unit? Over the long run, a heat pump can end up being more efficient and cheaper to run. If you do have ventilation in place, then a heat pump can be more aesthetically pleasing since you won’t need to deal with obvious ductless nodes in each room. For an HVAC contractor, contact a company such as #1 Air...

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Tips For Keeping Your HVAC System Running Smoothly For Years To Come

Posted by on 4:20 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Keeping Your HVAC System Running Smoothly For Years To Come

A heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit is a key part of many homes. But it’s also something that some homeowners may take for granted until it needs to be repaired. It can help if you think about your HVAC system along the same lines as you would your car. An HVAC system requires regular maintenance if you want it to keep your family comfortable for many years to come. Here are three things you can do to help ensure that your HVAC will not develop easily avoidable problems in the years ahead. Keep the Area Around the System Cleared If your HVAC unit is outside, you will want to make sure that the surrounding environment does not encroach on the unit. Keep the grass in the surrounding area neatly trimmed and keep any shrubs at bay. Letting a nearby tree or shrub get too close to the HVAC system can lead to a system clog. Change the Air Filters on a Regular Basis You regularly change the air filter on your vehicle, right? Let that serve as a reminder that it’s a good idea to change the air filter on your HVAC system on a regular basis as well. A clean filter will prevent clogs and also help improve the quality of the air you and your family are breathing. A new air filter can also help the system run more efficiently, reducing your energy bill in the process. Schedule a Regular Inspection with a Local Contractor While there are some things you can do on your own to keep your HVAC system running, you may not be aware of the more advanced inner workings of the system. That’s why it’s a good idea to form a long term partnership with a local HVAC contractor. Schedule a regular inspection of your system, at least once a year, so that any potential problems can be fixed before they turn into something larger. The ongoing cost of regular maintenance will still likely be cheaper for you than the amount you would have to shell over in the event that your system dies and it needs a complete replacement. HVAC systems require regular maintenance just like your car. Get into the habit of changing the air filter and clearing the area around the system of debris on a regular basis. For best results, contact an HVAC specialist to set up an ongoing maintenance plan. Contact a service like Reed Heating to learn...

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Crawl Space Sealing: 4 Good Reasons To Consider Encapsulating Your Crawl Space

Posted by on 8:29 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Crawl Space Sealing: 4 Good Reasons To Consider Encapsulating Your Crawl Space

Traditionally, homeowners have their crawl spaces vented. Many believe that venting the crawl space will reduce moisture levels, which will prevent mold and mildew. Unfortunately, venting your crawl space isn’t as good for your home as once thought. Contrary to popular belief, it may actually be better to have your crawl space encapsulated or sealed. While it might sound odd, there are actually several good reasons to consider sealing off your crawl space. Here’s just four good reasons: 1. Improved Comfort Sealing, or encapsulating, your crawl space can actually make your home more comfortable. Because your crawl space will no longer be subjected to cold or hot temperatures from the outside, the interior of your home will stay at a much more comfortable temperature. 2. Less Strain on HVAC System Going hand-in-hand with the above benefit, your HVAC system may actually last a few years longer if you encapsulate your crawl space. Since your system won’t need to work extra hard to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, it will likely last longer. 3. Improved Home Health and Air Quality Another reason you might want to consider encapsulating your crawl space is because it can actually improve the health of your home. When the crawl space is sealed off, it is far less likely to grow mold or mildew. It might sound odd, but since damp air won’t be able to get inside, it is much harder for mold to form. Add in a dehumidifier and your crawl space will be almost guaranteed to be mold-free. When there is no mold or mildew in your home, it improves the air quality. 4. Keeps Pests Out Encapsulating your crawl space also makes it difficult for animals to enter your home. This is another handy benefit, because bugs and birds won’t be making your home their home. This also helps to improve the air quality of your home. Since animals won’t be leaving their droppings or urine in your home, it won’t be in the air; therefore, making your indoor air healthier. As you can see, venting your crawl space isn’t the only option—and it might not even be the best one, either. If you are thinking about venting or encapsulating your crawl space, talk to a qualified HVAC contractor such as Atlantic Heating and Cooling for more information. These professionals can help you make the right decision for your...

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3 Signs That Something Is Seriously Wrong With Your Furnace

Posted by on 3:11 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Signs That Something Is Seriously Wrong With Your Furnace

As fall starts to turn to winter, you need to pay close attention to your furnace. If your furnace gives you any of the warning signs listed below, you need to schedule an HVAC contractor to come out and inspect your furnace. By paying attention to what your furnace is trying to tell you, you can stop your furnace from breaking down on a cold winter day when you really need it. #1. Your Furnace Starts To Make Unusual Noises No furnace is ever going to be completely quiet. However, your furnace should not sound like a beat-up car that is just barely wheezing down the road. If you start to notice additional or unusual sounds coming from your furnace, you need to have a technician come out and inspect your furnace. The issue may be as simple as tightening up the bolts and screws in your furnace, or a part may need to be replaced. A technician who works with furnaces every day will be able to distinguish between all the different sounds your furnace may make that signal a problem. #2. Your Furnace Has Issues Staying On Your furnace should turn on when it gets cool, and should turn off smoothly once your house is warm enough. If your furnace continuously cycles off before your house is even warm, you have an issue. Three primary issues generally cause furnaces to turn on and off incorrectly. The thermostat may be broken. If it is not working correctly, your furnace will not be able to correctly detect the temperature and this can cause your furnace to seem to act strangely. Faulty wiring can also cause your furnace to cycle on and off when it shouldn’t. Finally, there may be an issue with your pilot light if you have a gas furnace.  The HVAC technician will be able to figure out which of the three issues above is causing your furnace to turn on and off correctly.  #3. Your Furnace Light Is Yellow Finally, the light on your furnace should be blue. When the light on your furnace is blue, the gas mixture is balanced the way that it should be. When the pilot light on your furnace is yellow, the gas mixture is not balanced correctly and there may be a carbon monoxide leak. If this is the case, you should turn off the furnace and get the HVAC technician out to your home as soon as possible. They will be able to determine if your furnace is leaking carbon monoxide or if the gas line to your furnace is compromised. If you notice that your furnace is starting to make unusual sounds, turning on and off unexpectedly or if the light on your furnace is yellow, you need to arrange for a furnace repair right away. When addressed quickly, you can keep your furnace in good working order. Don’t ignore these warning signs; address them quickly so that your furnace keeps you warm all...

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Commercial Ice Machines: How To Choose The Size That You Need

Posted by on 9:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Commercial Ice Machines: How To Choose The Size That You Need

When you are in the market for a commercial ice machine, it is important that the size of the machine be one of the key deciding factors in your purchase. If you fail to take sizing into consideration, your restaurant or business may end up without the appropriate amount of ice, which will leave customers angry and likely going to do business elsewhere. Here are some basic guidelines to follow to appropriately size your commercial ice machine: What Are Your Daily Requirements for Ice? Manufacturers of ice machines will rate their machines based on a 24-hour period of ice production. Therefore, you need to think about your daily requirements for ice. You need to consider the amount of people that you serve on a daily basis, the separate areas of the establishment where ice will be used and the type of ice that you’ll place to use (full-cube, half-cube, crushed). Daily Requirements and Potential Growth Considerations. While daily requirements are important, there are other things that you need to consider as well. For example, you need to factor in the potential traffic that you will experience during the peak hours on a busy day. You will also want to consider the potential growth that your business will experience in the foreseeable future. Environmental and Location Conditions. Some ice machines, when not placed properly or not maintained at a certain temperature, may not produce ice sufficiently. For example, air-cooled machines will need a few inches of clearance around it on all sides of the machine in order for adequate air flow. Otherwise, the machine may shut down, and ice production will suffer as a result. Don’t Forget the Storage Bin. Even if you get the right size in terms of production capacity, your commercial ice machine still needs somewhere to store ice. This ice storage bin needs to be large enough to always satisfy your busiest time of the day. Therefore, you need to determine how much ice will be needed during rush hour at lunch or dinner (ultimately, your busiest hours) and ensure that the bin that your purchase will hold at least that much ice, if not a bit more to be safe. In the end, it is a guessing game. This is particularly true if this is your first time running an establishment that relies on the use of ice. You can speak to a commercial ice machine expert to help you determine the most appropriate size for your establishment. If you’re ever in need of repairs, don’t try to do them yourself. Instead, contact an experienced HVAC expert specializing in commercial ice machine repair.  For more information, contact Valley Refrigeration or a similar...

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3 Tips For Maintaining Your Air Conditioning System To Reduce Allergens In Your Home

Posted by on 6:38 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Maintaining Your Air Conditioning System To Reduce Allergens In Your Home

When allergens and dust accumulate within your home, these particles can be circulated throughout your house via your air conditioning and heating system. Maintaining and cleaning your air system frequently can help reduce the allergens that travel around your home. The following three tips can help you get a head start on dust buildup and help you reduce any allergens that might be roaming around. Keep an eye on your furnace filters. The filters of your air conditioning and heating system are where most allergens, dust, and microscopic particles will get trapped before making their way into the air circulating inside your home. Check your furnace filter often to make sure it’s clean and not full of dust and debris. Doing so can help you stay on top of allergen buildup. To further reduce allergen buildup, change the filter every three months or so, and opt for a quality brand of filter that has a high MERV rating for trapping allergens and other particulate matter. Keep your registers and return vents clean. The registers and return vents of your heating and cooling system are where the air is collected and returned to circulate back into your home. If weekly dusting is already on your list of household chores, go ahead and add your air vents to the list of surfaces to dust. A damp dusting cloth is more than adequate, so long as it is damp enough that you won’t stir up dust particles–and inherent dust mites–when you wipe your vents clean. Keep debris away from both the outside and inside units. Your outside unit should be clear of dirt, leaves, and other debris that can, from time to time, get into and around the unit. Check up on your outside unit frequently, especially during the fall or active allergy seasons. Your inside unit needs attention, too. Periodically vacuum and dust the parts of your inside unit, making sure to clean the area surrounding the inside system as well. This cleaning process will help reduce allergens that would otherwise be circulated into your home. You only need to give a little tender-loving-care to your air conditioning system to help keep allergens and dust at bay. For larger maintenance check ups, and to find the best filters for your system, contact a local air conditioning service, and they’ll be sure to help you find all you need to keep your home happy and allergen-free. For more information, contact Enright and Sons or a similar...

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