Scheduling a Maintenance Inspection

2 Frequently Asked Questions about Evaporative Coolers

Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Frequently Asked Questions about Evaporative Coolers

Portable evaporative coolers are one of the oldest forms of air conditioning available today, providing an efficient and effective cooling alternative to conventional AC units. These appliances can be very effective at cooling indoor areas in dry climates, and can be purchased in various sizes depending on your cooling needs. If you are unfamiliar with these units, here are answers to some common questions about evaporative coolers to help you understand how they work and how you can get the best performance out of them. Why are these appliances only effective in hot, dry climates? Evaporative coolers utilize a simple, yet effective cooling mechanism where hot, dry air is pulled into the unit and passed thought a moist cooling pad that draws water from an on board water reservoir. The heat in this air is absorbed into the cooling pad, turning water into a fine, cool mist that is then released into the space to be cooled. Due to this mechanism of injecting moisture into the air to achieve cooling, the conditions in the surrounding air need to be dry and hot for the appliance to function properly. If used in typically wet and humid areas, the unit will not be able to inject sufficient moisture amounts into the already saturated air, so the cooling effect will be minimal. Additionally, injecting more moisture into already humid air can make your space feel hotter despite the cooling effect of the mist being added from the evaporative unit. These appliances are also most effective in dry, hot climates during the afternoon when humidity is at its lowest and room temperatures at their highest. You could thus opt to use your conventional AC unit for cooling in the mornings and evenings and switch to your evaporative cooler in the afternoons to save on utility bills. How can I improve the performance of an evaporative cooler? Even when used in ideal climate areas for their optimal operation, evaporative coolers still require that several steps are taken to achieve optimal cooling. It is very crucial that you ensure a fresh supply of air in your home for the appliance to work optimally. This is because a lack of air would cause humidity levels in the room to build up, eventually causing indoor temperatures to rise. Be sure to leave your windows or door open to ensure your indoor air does not become stale and humidity levels remain relatively low. The next step is to keep up with maintenance. Periodically replace the cooling pad in the unit to maintain optimal cooling, and refill the water reservoir whenever it gets low to keep the cooler in top cooling shape. For more information, talk to a professional like Shivani Refrigeration & Air...

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What To Do When Your Air Conditioner Starts Making Strange Noises

Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Do When Your Air Conditioner Starts Making Strange Noises

It’s not uncommon for an air conditioning system to start making unusual noises. You may hear rattles, screeches, thuds, and whistles. These sounds indicate a part is worn or something is loose in the system. While you’ll need to call an HVAC contractor, like United Heating Cooling and Plumbing Inc, for a specific diagnosis, there are some simple things you can check yourself. Here’s what to do when your air conditioner starts making funny noises. Check The Outer Panels Although you probably can’t tell it, your air conditioner vibrates when it’s working. This vibration can cause screws to work loose on the panels. When a screw is loose, the panel will rattle slightly. Also, a screw can fall out completely and get inside your air conditioner and cause a rattling noise. First, shut off the power to your air conditioner and then check the panel screws. Give them a couple of turns to make sure they are tight. If a screw is missing, you can take off the outer panel and see if you can retrieve the screw and replace it. Clean The Fins And Filter There might be twigs or other debris caught in the fins of the outdoor cabinet. This can create a whistling or rattling sound. Clean out the fins with a vacuum or brush. Be very careful not to bend them because a bent fin will cause a rattling sound too. You can buy a fin brush at the hardware store to use for this purpose. It will also help straighten the fins if you need to fix one that is bent. It’s also possible for debris to get sucked inside your outdoor unit and hit against the fan and make noise. If that’s the case, you can remove the outer panel and clean out the cabinet. Check your filter while you’re cleaning your AC too. If your filter is clogged, your AC might make a whistling sound as it struggles to pull air through it. Check The Fan While you have the outer panels off the cabinet, check your fan. Make sure there is no debris stuck on it or dirt accumulation that causes it to stick. Look for a bent blade too. If the fan is out of alignment or has a bent blade, it may hit against the side of the cabinet with each turn and make a clicking noise. Brush off the fan and manually straighten blades that are bent, and if that doesn’t help, you’ll need to have a contractor figure out why the fan is malfunctioning. You don’t have to handle any dangerous internal parts to make the above checks. It’s not a good idea to remove the inner panel that covers the working parts of your air conditioner. Only take off the outer panel so you’ll be safe. If cleaning and making minor adjustments don’t work, then it’s time to call in an air conditioning repair service. You could have a worn belt or parts that need to be lubricated. Just don’t ignore unusual sounds. They are a sign something is wrong, and your AC might be damaged if it is allowed to run when it’s not working...

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3 Daily Tips To Reduce Your Family’s Heating Costs This Winter

Posted by on July 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Daily Tips To Reduce Your Family’s Heating Costs This Winter

As the weather begins to turn colder, your family might look forward to a lot of things, such as building snowmen or celebrating the holidays together. One thing that you might not be looking forward to, however, is paying higher heating costs. Although it’s true that you can expect to spend a little bit of extra money in the winter to keep your family nice and cozy, there are ways that you can reduce costs. These are a few day-to-day tips that can help you save more than you think. 1. Let the Light Shine In Even though you might not be able to open your windows now that the fall months are over, you still shouldn’t keep your windows covered all winter long. Instead, allow the natural light to shine in through your windows to provide some heat. Plus, doing so can also help provide some cheer on dreary, cold winter days. Just make sure that there are no air leaks around your windows; if there are, you can generally fix them with caulk. 2. Use Your Oven The winter months are the perfect time to enjoy your favorite comfort foods, like casseroles and pot roasts. Make them in the oven to provide some added heat to your kitchen. Just make sure that you don’t attempt to heat your kitchen by leaving your oven door open when the oven is on, which can be dangerous. The oven should still provide ample heat just from being turned on, with the door shut, while baking your favorite recipes. 3. Snuggle Up Now that it’s cold outside and your family members probably aren’t spending as much time outdoors, consider arranging family nights when everyone can hang out in the living room and snuggle up under blankets. It’s a great way to bond, and using body heat and blankets can allow you to turn your thermostat down a little bit to conserve energy. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can program it to automatically reduce your home’s temperature during the evening hours when everyone is bundled up and staying warm. Heating your home can be expensive during the winter months, but it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think. If you make a few changes to your day-to-day routine, and you and your family can stay nice and toasty, and you’re sure to notice that your heating bills aren’t quite as high. You can find other ways to reduce your heating costs by talking to a company like A Avis Plumbing Heating & Air...

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How To Survive The Summer While Pregnant

Posted by on June 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Survive The Summer While Pregnant

The summer months can be difficult for anyone to endure.  Add to that the discomforts of pregnancy and you could be feeling a whole lot worse!  Plan ahead for the heat and humidity to make sure that pregnancy “glow” isn’t just because you’re breaking a sweat! Air Conditioning is Your Best Friend Keeping your AC in good repair is a must to escaping the elements in the summer.  It will also save you time and money on repairs, so you can focus on getting ready for your new little one.  Before the heat sets in, as well as throughout the summer, follow these few guidelines. Get a yearly cleaning for your AC system before the hot season starts.  Just as your heating system should be checked in the fall, your AC should have an annual checkup as well. Replace the air filter monthly.  If you have an air filter that can simply be cleaned, make sure to do so monthly.  This will keep your air conditioning system from being overworked. Repair any air leaks.  You can check for leaks by lighting incense near duct connections, or where the AC frame meets the window for window-mounted units.  If the smoke from the incense is blown around the room, there is a leak.  Repair this by taping over the leak with duct mastic tape for central AC.  Window-mounted units need foam taped in between the unit and the wall to best repair this issue. Use a timer or programmable thermostat to set your air conditioning to higher temperatures when you are not at home.  This will save you money on the cost of cooling. Keeping blinds closed during the day, especially on south-facing windows, will help keep the temperatures low in the house to avoid overworking your AC. If your cooling system doesn’t seem to be working properly, make sure to contact a business like Christian Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. to get it checked out before a small problem becomes a larger issue that could knock out your AC for good. Keep Cool Away From Home Keeping a low-cost “keep cool kit” with you when you’re out and about can be a lifesaver for pregnant women!  Consider some of these items to help. A thermos filled with pebbled ice.  Easy to eat, convenient to use on your forehead if needed, pebbled ice is the best option to keep you nice and cool.  And the thermos will keep it from melting right away.  A hand-held fan.  There are many options for these.  Some even spritz water on your face at the same time. Your favorite sports drink.  Dehydration is a common problem in pregnancy, so make sure you always have a drink on hand. Flip-flops.  You may not be able to tie your own shoes at this point anyway, so a pair of flip-flops is perfect to slide on your feet for a day out.  They’ll also keep your feet cool and comfortable if they’ve been...

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Four Pitfalls To Avoid When You’re Spraying Deodorizer Into Your Air Ducts

Posted by on June 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Pitfalls To Avoid When You’re Spraying Deodorizer Into Your Air Ducts

Even if there’s no major dust or mold buildup in your air ducts, small and out of reach clusters of bacteria in them can still create a putrid smell. Fortunately, if you want to overpower a bad smell and have your air ducts only propagate a good smell, there are many specialized air duct deodorizers out there that come in spray cans. To make sure your air duct deodorizing job is effective and doesn’t lead to more problems, learn to avoid these four pitfalls: Not Keeping Your Spray Can’s Bottom Parallel To The Duct’s Floor When you point your spray can into your open air duct in preparation for spraying, pay special attention to two things. First, make sure you’re holding the spray can as close to the center of the duct as you can manage. Second, make sure that the bottom of the spray can is completely parallel with the air duct’s floor. If you don’t pay attention to either of these things, a lot of the cleaning chemicals you spray will languish on the air duct sides immediately in front of you. Since an air duct deodorizer only really works if it can spread throughout the entire system, this isn’t ideal. Removing Any Ducts Before You Start Working Both an unsteady spray can and a partially dismantled air duct system will ruin your deodorizer’s effectiveness. In the case of a partially dismantled air duct system, this is because the deodorizer will have no way to circulate through an intact duct on the other side of a removed component. Spraying Too Much At Once Into The System Only so much of your deodorizer can fit through a limited space before it starts sticking to the walls, ceiling, and floor out of necessity. To maximize the amount of deodorizer that will circulate throughout your whole air duct system after you spray it, only use your spray can in short bursts. While you don’t need to pause for an extraordinarily long amount of time, pausing for a few seconds at least is key. Not Completely Ridding The Duct Of Moisture Even a very small amount of moisture in one part of your air duct system can completely ruin your deodorizer’s final smell. So before you start working, it’s wise to walk under the parts of the air duct system that are readily visible to you and look for cracks that water could’ve infiltrated through. If you see one, remove that part of the duct and start looking for moisture. You’ll be surprised by how much of a difference your air duct system makes when it has a good odor emanating from it. So while paving the way for an air duct deodorizing session isn’t the easiest work in the world, there’s a very good chance that it’ll all be worth it in the end. To learn more, contact a company like Crystal Coast Heating & Air...

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Three Improvements That Add Energy Efficiency To HVAC Systems

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Improvements That Add Energy Efficiency To HVAC Systems

If you are like many homeowners, you have a conventional central HVAC system. The older systems may not be as energy efficient as newer heating and cooling solutions. This does not mean that you cannot have an efficient HVAC system. With improvements like adding a digital thermostat, improving insulation and adding thermal storage or geothermal heat exchangers, you can have a more efficient heating and cooling system for your home. If you want to have more efficiency for the heating and cooling of your home, here are some improvements that you may want to have done: 1. Upgrading Your Outdated Thermostat Many homes have an old analog thermostat, which is less accurate than a digital thermostat. They can also become less efficient as they get older and mechanical components wear out. Replacing them with a digital thermostat can help you to save. If you have a digital thermostat, you may want to consider having it replaced for a newer control system that has more features to make your system more energy efficient. This can be something as simple as the ability to program your system to change settings when you are at home or away. There are also thermostats that can memorize settings and make the changes automatically, according to your preferences. 2. An Energy Audit For Your Home To End Energy Loss Another area where you lose a lot of energy from your heating and cooling is from air leaks in your home. You may want to consider having an energy audit done to find out where you are losing energy. This can tell you if you need things like attic insulation, or if openings in doors and windows are a source of air leaks in your home. Addressing these problems can help to reduce the energy consumption for your heating and cooling systems. This will not only tell you problems that can be fixed with your AC, but also other simple home improvements you can do to help improve energy efficiency in your home. 3. Integrating Solar Energy Or Geothermal Technology With Your HVAC Solar energy and geothermal technology can also be added to your HVAC to make it more efficient. Solar energy can be used to help reduce your heating costs with thermal storage. In this process, a solar water heater will heat water, which is then delivered to the storage tank to be used when it is needed. Some designs even use a geothermal loop of pipes to store the thermal energy.  There are also geothermal systems that can use the loops to improve energy efficiency. These ground loops use the constant ground temperature as a heat exchanger for heating and cooling systems. Geothermal heat exchangers can be used to give you better energy efficiency for your heating and cooling, but can be a costly improvement. These are some improvements that you can have done to add energy efficiency to your home. If you are ready to improve your system with some of these ideas, contact a heating and cooling contractor to find out what can be done for the HVAC system in your home. For more information,...

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Are Window Air Conditioners Or Central Air Conditioners Better?

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Are Window Air Conditioners Or Central Air Conditioners Better?

When summer comes marching towards you, you probably start thinking about what it will take to stay cool. It’s much easier to enjoy summer if you don’t have to be in the heat all the time. Having an air conditioner is the best way to make sure that you have a way to escape from the heat. When it comes to air conditioners, you have some options. You can choose to go with window air conditioners or a central air conditioner. They will both help you keep your cool, but there are definite pros and cons to each.  Window Air Conditioners These are air conditioners that you install in the windows. Most of these air conditioners are built to cool just one room. They do come in a variety of sizes, so it is possible to find one that will cool very large rooms, or that can be used to cool more than one room, especially when paired with a fan to help move the cool air around. One of the benefits to using multiple air conditioners is that it is easy to customize the temperature in any particular room. For example, at night you can turn your air conditioner to a comfortable temperature in your room, but turn the others up higher, since those rooms won’t be occupied.  However, there are some downfalls to using window air conditioners. One of them is that you will likely end up limited as to how many you can actually use in your house. That’s because each AC unit can be a heavy draw on your electrical system. You will have to make sure that the air conditioners are on separate electrical circuits and that the air conditioner isn’t too powerful for that circuit. Otherwise, you will end up with your fuses blowing or circuit breakers going off all the time.  Central Air Conditioners Central air conditioners run through your house’s duct system. They cool your entire house at the same time. They generally have a condenser that stays outside, which helps to cool the air before it gets sent through your house. One of the biggest benefits to using central air is that it is set up on its own circuit so it won’t constantly trip the circuit breaker and cause problems.  One of the problems with using central air is that it can cost more to run than to run window air conditioners. You also end up cooling parts of the house that aren’t being used. If you go to bed and you want to have a comfortable temperature in your bedroom, the rest of the house is going to be set to that temperature, which can be wasted energy.  If you want to switch from a window air conditioner to a central air conditioner, or you are having problems with an already existing central AC unit, then you should call an AC repair company like Reardon Refrigeration who can help you get what you...

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The Ductopus: An Air Conditioning Repair Technician’s Nightmare And How To Fix It

Posted by on May 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Ductopus: An Air Conditioning Repair Technician’s Nightmare And How To Fix It

A really bad air conditioning installation that resembles a metallic octopus hanging from your basement ceiling has been dubbed by professionals as “the ductopus“. The problem with this horrible installation by one contractor means that he or she has absolutely no professional or working knowledge of how ventilation works, nor does he or she know how to properly help air conditioning repair. If you see this nightmare in your basement taking shape during installation, or you witness it after the contractor has left, here is how you can fix this nightmare. Better Design Ahead of Time Ductopus problems are the result of both licensed and unlicensed HVAC contractors not taking the time to design a system of vent connections that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. This does not mean that their final results will not work. It just means that they will be about as efficient as a whirligig in a desert valley with no wind. To put it another way, your air conditioner will blow and blow, but your house will still feel warm because not enough cool air is reaching all of your rooms. Before you hire an HVAC contractor and allow him or her near your basement and your forced air furnace, get him or her to draw up a working and feasible design for ventilation connections. Utilizing Prefabricated Metal Vents Instead The ductopus is not only a very poor design, but is also comprised of an expandable ventilation material rather than prefabricated metal vents. The reason for this is that the expandable ventilation material is significantly cheaper than the prefabricated metal vents, and contractors who try to underbid other contractors do so by using the expandable material instead. Unfortunately for consumers who were trying to save money up front, they have to find a lot more money to fix this problem. The best thing you can do for yourself and your home is to request metal vents and ventilation all the way. It forces the contractor to design better connections and seal off all leaks and edges before they become a problem. Hire Only Licensed HVAC Contractors It does not take much to purchase a truck or van, slap a heating and cooling label on it, buy a little advertising, and call yourself an HVAC contractor. Unless you, the consumer, knows enough to ask to see the contractor’s license, it is very probable that you will get a ductopus in your basement. Worse still, an unlicensed contractor can cause extensive damage to your home’s heating and cooling systems, which in turn will cause you more money to repair and replace. Save yourself from the inevitable ductopus and get a copy of the contractor’s current license before you hire him/her....

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How to Combat the Most Common Health Worries Associated with Air Conditioning

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Combat the Most Common Health Worries Associated with Air Conditioning

While it seems impossible to go even a second without it on a sweltering day, air conditioning can cause some health concerns, especially if you are constantly in an air conditioned building with the air on full blast. The best way to prevent health problems associated with air conditioning, is to have your unit serviced and repaired regularly. Most technicians recommend having your unit serviced annually. You should also change a few of your habits while you’re running your air conditioner in order to eliminate the threat of health issues.  Increase Humidity and Moisture Air conditioners are designed to remove humidity from the air, which is great. Air that is less humid allows your sweat to evaporate more readily, which makes you more comfortable when humidity levels rise. However, there’s such a thing as too little humidity. If your air conditioner is taking too much moisture from the air in your home, you may start to experience dry skin and irritated eyes, nose, and throat.  To rectify a dry air problem, start using a humidifier in areas of the home where you spend most of your time. You should also invest in a good moisturizing lotion and slather your skin with it after each shower. If you suspect that your humidity problem is due to your air conditioner running nonstop, have it inspected. It could need repairs. Improve the Quality of Your Indoor Air Indoor air is full of pollutants, such as fumes from cleaning products, pet dander, dust and cooking smoke, all of which can lead to respiratory issues. To reduce the amount of air pollution in your home, use your air conditioner to filter out pollutants from the air. Make sure your furnace filter removes the majority of particles from the air. You may also want to think about having your duct work cleaned.  Turn Up Your Thermostat Running your air conditioner when it’s cool outside can remove a great deal of moisture from the air in your home. On days when it’s nice out, turn up your thermostat so your air will run less often or turn it off completely and open a few windows. If you want to circulate and filter your air even though the temperature is just right in your home, switch your unit to fan mode.  As you can see, there are several ways you can eliminate or reduce all of the health concerns associated with air conditioning. All you have to do is maintain your unit, change your filter regularly and keep your air humidity at a comfortable level. For assistance, consult a professional like Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co.,...

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Bleeding A Radiator

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bleeding A Radiator

Clearing the valve in the radiator and getting rid of trapped air is the best way to get the hot water radiator functioning properly. If you experience any problems with the heating process, you should try to bleed it out as this will help in improving the performance of the radiators. Continue reading to learn just how to bleed the radiator: Turn On the Radiator to Heat it Up It is important to heat the radiator before the bleeding process starts. Increase the temperature on the thermostat and try to get the radiator as hot as possible. Before you move further, you should make sure that the radiators have been fully heated so the liquid is free flowing. Inspect the Radiator Before you move further, you should use caution and remember that the radiator and its components are hot. Check every area of the radiator individually. This will help you in understanding which part is not heating and which area is functioning properly. The areas that have cool spots mean that there is gas or air trapped in that area. Most of the time, the top part of the radiator tends to be cool as air usually gets trapped here. Use the Radiator Key or a Screwdriver   During this process, you should first make sure that central heating system of the radiator is switched off. To bleed the radiator you need a radiator key, or a flat-blade screwdriver. Older radiators may require using the key. You need to move the valve counterclockwise and make sure that the water starts dripping out of the radiator. This process helps in getting rid of air and lets the hot water move into the cold areas. Keeping a Check on the Pressure Keeping a check on the pressure is important to do while you are bleeding the radiator. Since the pressure tends to decrease during the process, you should try to use the tap or the lever in your radiator to keep the pressure steady in the boiler. Once you have completed the process and the radiator is cold again, turn it on to see if it’s heating properly. If you were successful, the radiator should heat up and you shouldn’t feel any cool spots. If bleeding the radiator didn’t work, you should call a professional to inspect and troubleshoot your radiator so you are able to keep your home warm all winter long. Still need help? Have other questions? If you find yourself still wondering about your system and want some more guidance. Contact a company like Pell City Heating & Cooling Inc. to learn...

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