AC Warning Signs

Residential Central Air Conditioning Units On Cement Slab

Here’s a list of common air conditioning warning signs

Warning Sign #1: My Air Conditioning Won’t Turn On

Warning Sign #2: I’m Not as Comfortable as I was Last Year

Warning Sign #3: My Utility Bills Are Abnormally High

Warning Sign #4: Weird Noises During Startup and Operation

Warning Sign #5: The AC Shuts Off Before or Long After I’m Comfortable

Warning Sign #6: There’s a Puddle of Water Next to my Furnace

Warning Sign #7: The Air Coming Out of the Registers Doesn’t Feel as Cold as it

Warning Sign #8: My AC Unit Refuses to Kick On at All


Furnace Safety Tips For Winter

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As the cold winter months approach us, most of us turn to our furnace to keep our homes cozy and warm. Although furnaces are a great way to heat our homes, there are some precautions that we should take to safely operate our furnaces and avoid problems in the long run.
Start the year off right with the following furnace safety tips:

It is important to change your furnace filter regularly. A clean air filter will help your furnace burn more efficiently and will help keep dust from being circulated through your home. A dirty filter can cause a number of efficiency, performance and safety issues, as well as result in furnace failure. Change or clean your air filter every 1-3 months during the winter when the furnace is being used the most.

Have your furnace cleaned and checked every year by a professional. An annual furnace check-up is essential to make sure that the system is working well and operating efficiently. During the inspection, your furnace will be checked for problems such as carbon monoxide leaks or frayed electrical wires that could lead to safety hazards in your home.

If your furnace isn’t functioning properly, one of the biggest threats that it can impose to your home is a carbon monoxide leak. Carbon monoxide is a type of gas that is colorless and odorless, so there is no way to detect high levels of it on your own. A carbon monoxide leak can cause us to have flu-like symptoms, disorientation, confusion and even death. It is imperative to check that all of your home’s carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.

In order to minimize the chance of a fire, it would be smart to keep the area around your furnace clear. Flammable products such as papers, sawdust, old rags and wood scraps should be kept a safe distance away from the furnace. Liquids such as gasoline and kerosene should be stored in tightly sealed containers, since vapors from flammable liquids easily ignite.


What You Must Know About Vent Covers


Vent covers are small but mighty items when it comes to both your HVAC system and your home’s décor. While most of your HVAC is hidden, the vents allow comfortable air to pass through your home. They are an important part of the system that heat and cools your home.

Often, we don’t put too much thought into these areas unless they stand in the way of a room’s décor, which sometimes they do. Coming in all shapes and sizes, it can either be a neutral look or an eyesore. They also can impact the overall health of your home. Here’s what you need to know about vent covers and how they function in the HVAC system.

Understanding Your Vent System
In your home, you have two types of vents, return and supply vents. As your HVAC system works to keep air in your home at a comfortable temperature, the return vents help get the air back to your system to continue regulating the temperature.

Cold Air Return Vents
Return vents can either be larger and more centrally located or they can be in every room. Most pros recommend that each room has a return vent. You can usually find these higher off the ground on an interior wall.

Supply Register Vents
Similarly to the return vents, all rooms in the home should have a supply register vent. These pathways allow the air from your HVAC to enter the room and change the temperature to your desired setting. These can be found on outer walls, under windows or on the floor. Keep in mind, the supply vents should be spaced separately from your return vent, so the air coming from the supply is not recirculated.

Vent Covers Or Grills
While both types of vents have an important role, they simply cannot be an empty hole in your wall or flooring. Air vent covers have an important function, to maintain airflow to a room and in some cases, remove impurities from the air. They also come in a variety of styles to help blend in with your room’s décor.

Cleaning Your Vent Covers
Regardless of style, a clean vent is important for the air quality and efficiency in your home. It’s recommended that you professionally clean your air ducts and vents once a year. This will give your vents a thorough cleaning and ensure all bacteria, fungi and dust that can build up over time, is removed.

Your vent covers are an important part of your HVAC system. They require proper care and regular maintenance like other areas of your home. Use a few of these tips to keep them looking and working their best.


Common Myths About Your Air Conditioner

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Here are some of the most common air conditioning myths paired with the facts you need to know.

Myth: Using an air conditioner will give you a cold.
Reality: Completely untrue, according to the AARP. While becoming chilled may make you more vulnerable to illness, the common cold is caused by a virus, not the temperature.

Myth: It’s a waste of time and money to have your air conditioner serviced.
Reality: False. AC units need to breathe. Regular cleaning can keep your unit running smoothly and efficiently. It also provides an opportunity to catch problems that might have developed over the winter.

Myth: You can save money by turning the AC off or setting the thermostat extra high when you leave the house, then turning the thermostat down when you come home.
Reality: Untrue on both counts. When you come home to a hot house, the air conditioner has to work much harder to cool the place down.

Myth: It’s cheaper to leave the thermostat at the same temperature all day, even when you go to work.
Reality: Not true. Using a programmable thermostat can let the house warm up while you’re gone, then start cooling things down before you get home.

Myth: The air conditioner won’t run as much if you keep ceiling fans turned on.
Reality: Totally false. Fans don’t cool air; they just move it around.


HVAC Maintenance Tips for the New Year

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With the New Year, we each take pause to consider the year that has ended and the year that has just arrived. For homeowners, this is a chance to take better care of your heating and cooling systems, which are some of your home’s biggest energy drains. By maintaining your HVAC system, you will gain increased home comfort, better indoor air quality, and energy and cost savings.

Tidy Up
Get rid of any dirt, leaves, or grass clippings that have accumulated around your outdoor heating and cooling units since you last cleaned around them. Remove any obstructions that could prevent the flow of air around them and in your systems.

Clean & Maintain
First, make a schedule for checking and replacing your filters, usually every 2 to 3 months. This will vary among different filter types, but regularly changing your filters will maintain the system and ensure optimal performance.

Inspect & Replace
Once the cleaning has been done, take a close look at your control box and any writing, connections, or controls. Repair as needed.

Seal Leaks
Look for any leaky, damaged, or un-insulated ductwork. Repair accordingly, specifically using duct tape or spray foam insulation for those leaky ducts.

Purchase a programmable thermostat for your home, which will save energy and money by giving you greater control over your home’s temperature. Installation is relatively easy and simple, as the wiring is the same as for regular thermostats.


Ways to Keep Your House Warm (and Save Money) This Winter


1. Use your curtains
Heat from the sun is free so make the most of it. Open your curtains and let the sunlight in during the day to make use of this free heat. When it gets dark, shut your curtains, which act as another layer of insulation and keep warmth in your rooms. You should also make sure you don’t have any leaks or gaps so that the warm air can stay in and the cold air stays out – this also helps to reduce condensation.

2. Use timers on your central heating
The Centre for Sustainable Energy advises that programming your boiler to turn the heating on a little earlier – such as 30 minutes before you get up in the morning – but at a lower temperature is cheaper than turning it on just as you need it at a higher temperature. This is because a boiler heats up at a constant speed whether you set your thermostat to 20°C (68° F) or 30°C. But don’t make the mistake of leaving your heating on low all day – because then you’re just paying for heat when you don’t need it.

3. Move your sofa
It might feel great to have your favorite seat in front of the radiator, but it’s absorbing heat that could be warming your home. By moving it away from the radiator, hot air can circulate freely. The same goes for your curtains or drying clothes – keep them away from the radiator so that you can get the most out of your heat source.

4. Maximise your insulation
When it comes to heat, around 25% is lost through the roof. This can be easily reduced by installing 25cm (9 in) of insulation throughout your loft. It’s also worth seeing what’s going on in your walls, as around a third of the heat in an uninsulated home is lost this way. Although it’s not as cheap to install as loft insulation, cavity wall insulation could save up to £160 ($213) a year in heating bills. It’s also worth checking with your energy supplier to see if they have any insulation schemes running – which can sometimes mean cheap or free installation.

5. Wrap up warm
If you have a hot water tank, make sure it is properly lagged – or insulated. This will keep the water warmer for longer, and reduce heating costs. The Energy Community reckons that insulating an uninsulated water tank could save up to £150 ($200) a year – but even just upgrading your tank’s “old jacket” will help to save money.


Today’s AC Systems are More Efficient and Cost More Upfront

Residential Central Air Conditioning Units On Cement Slab
Today’s central air conditioning systems are much more efficient than their predecessors. The industry uses a rating called SEER for central systems, which is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Essentially, a higher SEER rating means the air conditioner uses energy more efficiently. When other factors such as thermostat settings are kept equal, a higher SEER results in lower monthly utility bills for the owner or occupant. A central air conditioning unit rated at 13 SEER uses almost a third less electricity than a 10 SEER system.

Some outside A/C units are rated at a range, such as 14/15 SEER, depending on what type of indoor equipment they are paired with. For example, if paired with a manufacturer recommended evaporator coil and a variable speed furnace or variable speed air handler, an outside unit could be rated as a 15 SEER system. Otherwise, the rating would be 14 SEER.

As you might imagine, higher efficiency A/C equipment costs more to build. Why? For one reason, more efficient condensers and evaporators contain more metal in their extra coils. Additionally, to gain higher efficiency, the systems may have more complex technology such as motor speeds and electronics.