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.


Tips for Prepping Your HVAC System for Winter

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Is your HVAC system ready for cold weather? Here are a few tips to help you get ready for the inevitable and add a few good years to your HVAC.

1. Air Filters: If you aren’t already, get in the habit of changing your air filters monthly. Just because you can’t see the dust trapped in the air filter doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

2. Thermostat: Test your thermostat to make sure your HVAC system is working properly. On a cool morning, turn the heat on and set the thermostat to your preferred winter-time temperature. If the HVAC never reaches that temperature or takes too long, you may have a problem.

3. Programmable Thermostat: Consider having a programmable thermostat installed. It allows you to program preset temperatures for various times of the day so that your HVAC works less when you’re away.

4. Vacuum: Vacuum any debris from your furnace blower compartment. If you prefer, one of our certified technicians can perform this task while servicing your HVAC unit.

5. Air Vents: To ensure air circulates properly, make sure nothing is blocking your fresh-air-supply and return-air vents. Furniture, bedding, toys and the like can obstruct air intake and make the HVAC unit work harder.

6. Unusual Behavior/Noises: Unusual noises or excess heat or water coming from your HVAC is a sign that something could be wrong. Don’t wait around until it breaks as experience teaches that could cost more.


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.


Fun Facts that Will Surprise You About Air Conditioning

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Here are some surprisingly cool facts about the innovation that keeps us comfortable during hot summer days and nights.

1. When AC systems were first introduced, the output settings were measured in “Ice Power” – in other words, how many blocks of ice it would take to produce the same amount of cooling power. Now we call them AC units (1).

2. The motivation for the first air conditioner wasn’t comfort. Willis Carrier invented a modern air conditioner in 1902 for a publishing company in New York that was experiencing problems with the ink control and paper expansion and contraction due to varying humidity levels (2).

3. Approximately 88 percent of new single-family homes constructed in America in 2011 included air conditioning. Compare that figure to how only 55 percent of Canadian households had air conditioning in 2013. Sounds like it really is naturally colder in Canada (3).

4. The first fully air-conditioned home was built in a mansion in Minneapolis in 1913 by Charles Gates. Sadly, he died before he could ever experience it (4).

5. Air conditioning systems helped coin the term “Summer Blockbuster.” One of the first businesses to utilize air conditioning technology back in the early part of the twentieth century were movie theaters. In the 1930’s, patrons flocked to theaters to enjoy the films – but also to enjoy the cool air during summer months. Marketers took advantage of this trend and saved their big hits for summertime releases. Thus, the term “Summer Blockbuster” became a part of our vocabulary (1).

6. Herbert Hoover was the first President to enjoy air conditioning. He spent $30,000 to install the system in the oval office, just after the start of the Great Depression (4).


Understanding Your HVAC System: Heating, Air Conditioning & Ventilation


Your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system is the system or combination of system used to provide a comfortable temperature in your home and maintain high levels of air quality. As a homeowner, it is important to understand the key roles your HVAC system plays and how they operate in order to get the most out of your system.

The heating component of your HVAC system provides a warm climate for your home in the cooler months of the year. Today, the most popular type of heating system is the forced air system, but many homes also use radiant heat systems and geothermal heating systems, among others. In all of the systems, heat is created at a central source and distributed through the home via different means.

Your HVAC system plays an important role in maintaining the your home’s indoor air quality. Ventilation helps circulate and purify air, control moisture levels, remove unwanted smells, and prevent air stagnation.

Air Conditioning
Your HVAC system is also in charge of keeping you cool during the warmer months. There are several different types of AC units, each with their own pros and cons. Whether you have central air (used in conjunction with forced air systems), split or ductless AC units, window AC units, or portable AC units, the process that each system uses to cool your home is similar.


Your Furnace Repair Questions Answered

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Tis the season… for furnace repairs! Hopefully you will not find yourself without heat this winter, but if you do, you may have questions about furnace repairs. We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked furnace repair questions below to give you the information you need about repairing your heating system.

Furnace Repair Question 1: How much do furnace repairs cost?
The cost of furnace repairs is unique to each situation. Your furnace repair contractor likely charges a service fee, that typically ranges from $50 to $100. On top of that is the cost of the repair, which depends on what needs to be done, including labor and replacing components. The average furnace repair cost is $268.

Furnace Repair Question 2: What are common furnace problems?
While a number of issues may arise with furnace performance, there are some issues that seem to take place more commonly than others. Below are common furnace repairs and their approximate costs.

  • Faulty ignitors can be caused by dirt and grime buildup due to lack of maintenance. Replacing ignitors costs approximately $300 to $400.
  • A bad thermostat will prevent your furnace from effectively heating your home, as it will not be able to call for heating when needed. The cost to replace your thermostat depends on the model you choose, starting around $50 to exceeding $250 for advanced smart thermostats.
  • Faulty flame sensors can cause fuel to burn improperly, which is unsafe for your family. When the flame sensor is bad, the furnace can shut down. Replacing flame sensors runs from $80 to $250 on average.
  • Replacing a furnace motor is costly, and may require parts to be ordered. This furnace repair can cost between $400 and $1,500.


Time to Winterize Your Central Air Conditioner

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Winterizing your central air conditioner prevents rust damage and keeps critters from nesting inside mechanical parts. Winterization of your HVAC unit is a straightforward do-it-yourself home improvement project. It takes just a few minutes of your time to complete. By following these simple steps, you can help keep your central air conditioning unit clean and in top working condition for summers to come. The best time to prep your HVAC unit is early fall, just before you close the windows and turn on the heat.

1. Remove leaves, twigs and grass clippings. Use a garden hose to rinse the outdoor air conditioner, removing droppings, bugs, dirt and dust. Allow the HVAC unit to dry completely.

2. Locate the electrical circuit. It usually has a plastic or metal lid. Remove the lid and flip the switch to cut power supply. This prevents the unit from turning on during a warm winter day, which keep water out of the unit that could freeze overnight and damage your HVAC unit.

3. Install tubular foam or rubber pipe insulation with tees and elbows around pipes to protect against freezing. Cut the foam to fit by length and diameter of the pipe. Place tees and elbows first.


Reasons Why You Should Hire a Licensed Professional to Fix Your HVAC

Two workers on the roof of a building working on the air conditioning unit.

If you are having an issue with your furnace or your air conditioner, or you want to get a new heater or air conditioner, chances are that you have thought about doing the work yourself or trying to do it yourself.

But the problem is that doing this work yourself can be expensive and it also can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Even though you may think that hiring an HVAC professional is going to be too expensive, there are a lot of advantages to hiring one rather than doing it yourself. Here are 8 benefits of hiring an HVAC professional.

Reason #1. Professionals have the knowledge that’s needed for making your furnace and your air conditioner work efficiently. That is why you should hire someone who is both professional and has the right training rather than doing the work yourself or have a friend do it. You may think that you are saving money, but it could end up costing you a lot more in in the long run. A professional will analyze your home and the current system that you have and when that is done, they will make a recommendation on the right system for your house.

Reason #2. Professional HVAC technicians are going to have certification and the right training. They are going to know what needs to be done and how to do it safely, whereas you may make a mistake that can injure you or cause damage to your home.

Reason #3. Reputable, established companies usually will offer a kind of discount, special, payments through credit cards, and financing to make things simple for you and affordable.

Reason #4. You don’t have to worry about having the tools you need to do the job. When you hire a professional, they are going to have everything they need for doing the job. They will have all the necessary tools in their truck or van so that your job can be done efficiently and quickly.