How To Make Your Furnace More Efficient

Posted by on 8:07 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Make Your Furnace More Efficient

Are you looking for a great do-it-yourself project that can end up saving you money? If so, you should follow these steps to make your furnace more efficient. These simple furnace maintenance jobs can increase the efficiency and air flow of both your air conditioner and heater. Basically, you could help reduce your electricity bill during the summer and winter just by performing these simple task. Best of all, you don’t need any particular skills or complicated tools to do them. Replace Your Furnace Filter The first and most basic job is to replace your furnace filter. Most filters are located on the outside of the actual furnace cabinet. They are easy to identify because they are located between the main output duct and the cabinet wall. The filters are about the size of a small pizza box, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding it. That being said, many people improperly install the filter. For instance, they will remove the old filter and put the old one in place without cleaning out the empty compartment. There can be dirt that blocks the compartment tracks that the filter slides into. This makes it difficult to slide the new filter in place. If the filter is not properly installed, air can flow right around it, making your replacement pretty much useless. So use a hose vacuum to clean the tracks before you put the new filter in place. Clean Around the Outside of the Furnace Cabinet Another simple job is to clean and vacuum the outside of your furnace cabinet and the surrounding area. Since furnaces are usually located in a garage or basement, they can be surrounded with junk and clutter. This usually means there is a lot of dust around the furnace cabinet. Most importantly, look for the sections where your furnace is vented. Make sure there is nothing stacked on this section of your furnace, as it could block airflow in and out. Then, get a hose vacuum with a brush attachment. Clear all the vented sidewalls of the cabinet and make sure that each individual vent is clear of any blockages. If you do these two simple jobs, you might not immediately noticed a huge increase in the air flow of your home. However, if your furnace has not been serviced in many years, they could both increase airflow and reduce the stress on your furnace motor, ultimately reducing your electricity intake. The great thing about these two simple tasks is that you can probably go do them right now. For more information and extensive repairs and maintenance help, contact professional HVAC services from companies like Winters Heating...

read more

Why Your Radiators Aren’t Heating Up Properly And What You Can Do To Fix The Issue

Posted by on 7:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Your Radiators Aren’t Heating Up Properly And What You Can Do To Fix The Issue

When they work properly, radiators quickly heat up and provide comfort throughout an entire home in just minutes. While you may be able to adjust your heat settings easily by adjusting the thermostat, few people venture down to the boiler room or make much of an attempt to troubleshoot faulty radiators on their home. There is a good reason your radiators aren’t providing adequate heat, and here’s how you can find out what to do about it. Figuring Out Why Your Radiators Won’t Heat Up After turning your home heating system on, your radiators should soon become so hot that direct contact should be avoided. You may even hear the steam as it travels from the boiler, through the pipes and settles inside the radiators. If one of these telltale signs is missing, it shouldn’t be difficult for you to determine the source of your radiator troubles. A broken boiler may be the cause of your home heating problem. You can find out if you have a broken boiler by looking at the pilot light, making sure that the boiler is on, and checking fuel levels. If your boiler doesn’t come on and your radiators remain cold despite turning the thermostat to its highest setting, you may need your boiler repaired or replaced. Home Plumbing Pipe Repair And Replacement Since heat moves from the boiler to the pipes before settling in the radiators, you may also need to check your home plumbing to find out why your radiators aren’t getting heat. Turn on your heating system as your normally would, then systematically inspect the pipes in your home. Starting with the pipes closest to your boiler, you can simply stand and listen for signs of activity, and physically inspect them for leaks, corrosion and gaps. Noisy pipes can be a sign that something is wrong, just as a lack of sound might point to a bigger issue. Rust, air bubbles, cracks, and internal blockages can prevent pipes from distributing heat in a home, so be sure to look at all your pipes carefully. Troubleshooting Your Radiators While radiators are pretty durable, some maintenance will be needed to ensure that they remain functional. Sludge buildup inside of your radiators may cause them to heat up slower, unevenly, or incompletely. Faulty radiator components can also have a negative effect on home heating. Checking and possibly replacing your radiator hoses may solve the problem, while cleaning out your radiators will improve heating efficiency once your system is up and running once more. Start with the boiler, then work your way up to each individual radiator to find and fix the problem causing your home heating system to...

read more

Rooftop HVAC System Maintenance Tips

Posted by on 1:43 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Rooftop HVAC System Maintenance Tips

If your commercial building is like most, your entire commercial HVAC system is probably located on the roof. While this keeps it out of the way and minimizes ground level noise, it does present a few maintenance challenges. The following are a few tips for you or your maintenance crew to implement to avoid some common issues. Tip #1: Protect against birds Birds often seek shelter and create nesting sites next to or even inside of a rooftop HVAC unit. This blocks the vents and can tangle up the fans, leading to poor performance or even a burnt out motor. Fixing this issue requires vigilance. Your maintenance crew should check around the unit and inside the casing monthly for any debris or nests, and remove them promptly if found. Caging in the unit with a fine mesh cage can help keep birds and debris out of the actual unit, but the cage will still need to be swept free of any debris that blows up against it. Tip #2: Watch for flooding Rooftop flooding can be another concern. Ideally, your HVAC system should be installed upon a raised vibration dampening pad. If it isn’t, then you need to bring in a commercial contractor as soon as possible to install one. Most flat roof are constructed so they slow slightly from the center outward, or they have integrated drain systems. For sloping roofs, your crew needs to make sure that the drain outlets along the edges aren’t blocked by debris, otherwise water can collect on the roof and get into the HVAC system. For roofs with integrated drainage systems, the drain openings need to be kept clear and clean. Blocked drains aren’t just an HVAC problem, they can also lead to roof troubles. Tip #3: Increase your winter vigilance Winter can be the toughest time on a rooftop system. While most commercial HVAC systems can withstand normal weathering, including wind, cold, and rain, they still need an a little extra care when heavy snows or ice storms hit. After each storm, shovel snow away from the HVAC unit. You don’t want the snow to block the vents on the unit, since this can cause it to overheat and lead to a burnt out motor. Ice storms can be more problematic. If the unit is encased in ice, you need to turn it off until either the ice melts or until you can get an HVAC contractor out to safely remove the ice. For more help, contact an HVAC contractor in your area....

read more

Four Silly Mistakes That Can Lead To Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Posted by on 10:30 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Silly Mistakes That Can Lead To Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

You’ve probably heard of carbon monoxide poisoning, and if you’re like most people, you know it can occur if your heating system malfunctions or is not vented properly. But this is not the only possible cause of carbon monoxide poisoning. This poisonous gas is produced whenever any fuel — be it wood, propane, oil, or natural gas, is burned. In that light, here’s a look at four silly mistakes that may lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Lighting a fire before checking the chimney. If your chimney is plugged or if there is a lot of creosote buildup within it, then when you light a fire in your fireplace, the smoke — and the CO it contains — will billow into your home. Even after the smoke seems to dissipate, the CO may linger. Since it is lighter than air, it may slowly travel to the upper floors of your home, causing CO poisoning later on as you sleep. The moral of the story here is to never start a fire before checking to ensure the chimney is clear. And have your chimney inspected once a year to check for venting issues, too. Putting the generator too close to your home. Right next to your home is a convenient place for your gas or oil-burning generator, right? While it might be convenient, it is not safe. CO produced by the generator can enter the home through open windows, gaps between windows and their frames, and vent systems. In the 2004-2005 hurricane season, about half of all fatal CO poisoning incidents were attributed to generators that were placed within 7 feet of the home. Be on the safe side, and place your generator at least 25 feet from your home. Heating your home with a gas range. When it’s a little chilly and you don’t want to turn the heat on, resist the urge to heat up your home with the gas range. While it may save you a few cents on the energy bill, it will put you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning as the open flame will generate CO that accumulates in your home. Using a portable gas heater indoors. Portable gas heaters made for camping use should only be used outdoors — not inside the home. They release CO as they burn gas. If you want a portable heater for indoor use, purchase an electric one, as these don’t burn any fuel and therefore won’t release any CO. As an extra precaution, always make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are...

read more

Water Heater Leaking? Here Are 2 Parts to Check

Posted by on 8:30 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Water Heater Leaking? Here Are 2 Parts to Check

Have you discovered water around your water heater but aren’t sure where the water came from? A leak can indicate that your tank has eroded and needs replacing, but the problem is oftentimes much simpler and cheaper to fix. There are a couple of places to check for problems and potential leaks before you jump to replacing your entire unit. Drain Valve The drain valve is located near the bottom of the tank and is used when you need to remove water from the tank for repairs or for yearly tank flushing. A leaking drain valve is often easy to diagnose because the water will pool directly under the valve. But you can also test to make sure the drain valve is the source. Hook a garden hose up to the drain valve. Place the remaining end of the hose over a floor drain or out a window. Insert a flat-head screwdriver in the notch on top of the drain valve and turn the screwdriver counterclockwise to open the valve. Water should start flowing out of the hose. Turn the screwdriver clockwise to shut the valve. Remove the hose and check for signs that the water flow didn’t stop. Note that it’s normal for the valve to still drip a few times once it’s closed, but if the drip continues or is more powerful than a drip, your unit needs a new drain valve. You can purchase a new valve at the hardware store and replace the part after you have fully drained the tank. Temperature and Pressure Release Valve The temperature and pressure release valve is a safety feature that ensures the water inside the heater doesn’t become overly hot or overly pressurized, which can lead to burns or the potential explosion of your tank. Water can leak out of this valve during the normal course of operation. But frequent leaks out of the valve mean that either your unit is set at too high of a temperature—which means the valve is being tripped too often—or that the valve is broken and needs to be replaced. You can check the temperature using your owner’s manual to both find the unit’s thermostats and to find the recommended upper temperature for the unit. If the temperature setting checks out, you can replace the valve yourself if you have a lot of appliance repair experience. If you are a novice, call in a plumber from a service like Actionaire Inc to replace the temperature and pressure relief valve. A mistake during installation can render the valve nonfunctional and can make your unit equally nonfunctional—or, worse, make your water heater...

read more

4 Warning Signs That Indicates It’s Time For Air Conditioning Repair

Posted by on 1:16 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Warning Signs That Indicates It’s Time For Air Conditioning Repair

Your air conditioner is one of the greatest privileges since it keeps you and your family cool in the summer heat. You can continue to live comfortably in your home all day long, even when the sun is beating down on it. However, air conditioners run into problems from time to time. Because of this, you are going to need air conditioning repair to ensure that your AC unit is running at its highest efficiency. Here are four warning signs that indicate it is time for you to call in the professionals for repairs: AC Won’t Turn On: Obviously, if your air conditioning is not turning on, there’s a problem. The most common reason for this is because the power isn’t reaching the AC unit or the thermostat is not set correctly. Before calling the professionals, you can check the thermostat to be sure that it is set to cool, is at the right temperature, and has a good battery. You can also flip the circuit breaker to see if this helps power the AC unit. If these things don’t work, you will need to call in the professionals.  Poor Air Flow: You will notice poor air flow if you are having to turn the AC up higher than you usually do. This is typically because of a dirty air filter, which you can easily replace on your own. A dirty air filter will clog up the air flow and prevent your home from becoming cool quickly. However, if changing the filter does not work, the professionals will need to come in and either replace a broken component or clean the interior of the AC from other debris that is blocking the air flow.  Strange Noises: A strange noise when you turn on the AC unit can indicate that some screws are loose, which you can attempt to find and tighten yourself. However, if you are unable to locate a loose screw, the problem could be bigger. When the fans are bent inside of the unit or the blower is broken, it will make a strange noise. You will need to call in the professionals who will inspect and replace the fans or the blower depending on what the specific problem is.  Puddle of Water: If you notice a puddle of water near the AC unit, this could indicate that one of the tubes is disconnected. This is going to prevent the air from getting cool quickly, so you will want to call in the professionals right away. They will be able to resolve this issue quickly by opening up the AC and reconnecting the tube.  By knowing some of the warning signs that your AC needs repairs, you will know what you can do yourself right away or when you need to call in the pros (like those from Arlington Heating & Air Conditioning and other...

read more

3 Options For A Modern Energy Efficient Cooling

Posted by on 2:38 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Options For A Modern Energy Efficient Cooling

Old mechanical systems can be costly to maintain and inefficient, which is why you may be considering updating an air conditioner or other system in your home. With air conditioning, there are many modern systems available that are much more energy efficient that the older systems. This can include something like geothermal HVAC or ductless AC systems. If you want an air conditioner that is more efficient, here are some of the options you may want to consider: 1. Geothermal Systems For A Conventional HVAC Solution Geothermal systems have been a popular choice for energy efficient cooling for many decades. These are systems that have a circuit of pipes that exchange heat in the ground, providing your heating and cooling with a consistent temperature that reduces the amount of energy that is needed to heat or cool your home. If you want a more conventional solution, this can be a good choice that will also provide you with savings for heating your home during the winter months. It can also be combined with thermal storage from solar collectors on the roof. 2. Ductless Air Conditioners To Add Cooling To Your Home If your home does not currently have cooling, you may be looking for an affordable air conditioning system to keep your home cool. Another good choice is ductless AC systems, which require less work and renovations to have installed than typical ducted systems. They can also be combined with several indoor units to give your home a zoned air conditioning design. This is ideal for smaller homes or areas with mild summer weather and minimal cooling needs. 3. Ventilation Systems To Help Keep Your Home Cool With Less AC Ventilation may be another improvement that you want to consider for your home. This can reduce the need for air conditioning by giving you a natural way to cool your home. You can have a home ventilation system installed, which will allow you to ventilate your home for cooling when you really do not need an AC. This can be a great investment for homes in cooler climates where AC is not essential. If you want an air conditioner that is more energy efficient, these are some of the options that you may want to consider for your home. If you are ready to update the AC in your home, contact an HVAC contractor like Daniel’s Heating Air & Plumbing Inc and talk with them about the best energy efficient options for your...

read more

How To Fix Your AC Contactor

Posted by on 5:15 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Fix Your AC Contactor

Air conditioners need regular maintenance if you want to make sure they are fully operational and energy efficient. However, most homeowners don’t have the time, money or patience to have an HVAC contractor come to their house and service their AC system every year. Most AC repairs should be done by HVAC contractors, but there are some jobs that you can do on your own. One very common problem with AC units is a bad contactor. This article explains what a contactor is and how to replace it. What is a Contactor? A contactor is basic device that all AC units (and most large electrical devices) have. It is vital to the operation of the air conditioner because it converts the low voltage signal coming from the thermostat to power up the unit. So, if the contactor is bad, the AC will not turn on when the thermostat tells it to. In severe cases, your AC will not turn on at all because the contactor is so damaged. At first, your AC will be inconsistent and might not turn on right when the thermostat tells it to. Luckily, contactors are very affordable and quite easy to replace. Turn off the Power and Find the Contactor Before you begin any work on your contactor, turn of the power to your AC unit. This means you need to cut the power at the breaker panel. Next, find the contactor. The contactor is about the size of cell phone and it is in the electrical panel of the AC unit. It is easy to find because the panel is marked with a voltage sign. The panel door can be swung open easily, no tools required. Change the Contactor To remove the contactor, you will first need to remove the input and output wires. This is easy to do with a simple flathead screwdriver. Then, you will need a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the screws that mount the contactor to the unit. Take the old contactor to a home improvement store and get a like-for-like replacement. This is the best way to ensure that you don’t get a incompatible model. Most contactors look very similar, so it can be easy to confuse them. Finally, you just need to reverse the steps and attach the new contactor and all its wires. Turn the power back on and test your system by turning on your thermostat and setting the temperature as low as it will go. Your AC should fire up automatically. If this does not solve the problem, there could be an alternative issue that you need to fix. Contact a service like Dependable Air Conditioning Co Inc for professional...

read more

Three AC Fan Problems That Can Affect Your AC Performance

Posted by on 7:17 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three AC Fan Problems That Can Affect Your AC Performance

If you’re noticing poor performance from your AC unit that you’ve tracked down to the fan itself, you’re well on the road to having your unit back in working order. You may even be able to take care of the problem on your own, depending on what type of issue the fan is dealing with. Here are three problems the AC fan may develop and what you can do about them. 1. Fan blockage Blockage can occur in two ways. The most obvious way is when debris gets inside the unit itself and physically obstructs the fan. It’s hard to miss this problem if you’re outside inspecting your unit. But another blockage can occur when nearby debris obstructs airflow to the unit itself. Thick bushes, weeds, and piles of dead leaves can cause this problem. Make sure your unit has enough “breathing room” to take in air freely. One or two feet in each direction, and four feet from the top, is best. Air blockage can also be caused by building walls, other AC units, and piles of snow from the roof. 2. Physical damage The fan blades are long and relatively thin, and they can twist and warp with surprising ease. Whether your two-year-old stuck his toy inside the unit or whether a falling branch poked its way through the top, fan blade damage may be the result. Replacing the fan may be the only option in some of these cases. Other ways the fan can become damaged include: Hitting loose parts inside the unit Bending when you (or a maintenance professional) open the unit to do repairs The longer you put off repairing or replacing the fan, the more damage you’re likely to have. This is because a bent or damaged fan blade can end up hitting other parts of the unit, damaging itself further and damaging them at the same time. An AC unit is designed efficiently without a lot of extra space inside, so even a slightly bent fan could be touching other parts. And the more damaged the fan blade is, the more strain is put on other parts of the unit (such as the compressor), which may ultimately overheat and fail from lack of air if the problem is ignored. 3. Connection problems During the course of normal operation, a fan screw may occasionally work loose. This is an easy fix as long as you catch it in time. If you hear a strange rattling sound from the fan, this could be the cause. To keep the fan in good working order you should check it periodically for loose screws, rust, and dirt. Cleaning the fan may also alleviate strange sounds. These three fan problems are all capable of keeping your AC unit from working at its best. You can increase your unit’s chances of success by cleaning the fan periodically, checking its screws, giving it room to breathe, and protecting it from violent damage. To learn more, speak with a business like Tailor Made Maintenance...

read more

3 Ways To Get The Best Price For Heating Oil This Winter

Posted by on 8:37 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Get The Best Price For Heating Oil This Winter

During the winter season, your heating bill can become quite expensive, especially if you are home most of the time and need to keep the heater set at a comfortable temperature all day long. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can save on the price of heating oil to ensure that your expenses aren’t as much as they otherwise would be. Here’s how: Select a Good Payment Plan:  There are three payment plan options that you have for heating oil, which are a fixed plan, market price plan, and a pre-buy plan. A fixed plan means that you are spending the same amount on oil for an entire year despite market price changes. A market price plan means that you are spending only the market price each time you need more heating oil. This can sometimes save you money, especially if the market price continues to stay low. A pre-buy plan means you spend a set amount for the estimated amount of oil that you believe you will need that winter. To determine which payment plan is right for you, it’s best to check how the market prices have been for the past year. If they have been high, then consider pre-buying the oil or choosing a fixed plan during a time when heating oil costs are unusually low.  Join Oil Buying Group:  There are probably many oil buying groups in your area. These groups work by being able to have high negotiating power with oil companies due to their large number of members. This allows the group to receive great discounts on oil and the oil companies benefit by having a continuous, large order from the group every year. Keep in mind that you can join these groups for free and receive a pretty high discount each season. Join a Heating Assistance Program: There are many heating assistance programs available through the government for homeowners that meet certain criteria. For example, homeowners with a low income are typically eligible for these programs. You can determine whether or not you are available by going on your local government’s web page, searching for the benefit programs available and apply. It may take some time before you receive a denial or acceptance into the program, so be sure that you apply well before the winter season arrives.  By knowing these three ways that you can save on heating oil, you can be sure that during the winter season, you won’t have to worry about high costs taking away from your holidays and...

read more