Friday, November 29, 2013

AC Problem Areas That Must Be Noted

Houston as a warm city is an understatement. The average high temperature in the city rarely fall down below 60 degrees Fahrenheit with its humid subtropical climate. These facts assure Houstonians that they will constantly experience temperatures relatively higher compared to the rest of the country.
No wonder air conditioning units are highly used in the city to keep homes and buildings cool. As it is known that Houston temperatures can hit beyond 80 degrees Fahrenheit even in winter.
Overworking these machines without proper maintenance, however, can result in inefficient AC units that can increase electric bills. Here are some of the problem areas AC owners must take note of:
An inadequate level of refrigerant in the unit will not help the unit work properly. In most cases, the problem is caused by certain parts springing a leak. Fixing a refrigerant leak should be left to a professional since the chemical can be hazardous to your health.
It is important to keep the outside fan clean and to make sure it works properly. A fan that is not working can cause the conditioning compressor to overload and give in due to poor heat transfer.
Houston is a humid city, so it is important to constantly check the condensate drains to ensure that the unit is not stocking up on water. Drains expel any contaminants in the unit, resulting in cleaner, cooler air.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Common Problems Your AC Might be Facing

When you take your air conditioning for granted and just stash it away after fervent use in the summer, not once bothering to check it for damage, you might have a feeble source of cold air when the summer rolls around again next year. You need to check the condition of your AC often, especially before storage. Here are some common AC problems you might need to look into:

Leaking Refrigerant

The AC’s refrigerant is the liquid that is used to cool the air that comes into contact with it (through the coil where the coolant is stored). Check to see if there seems to be a low refrigerant level inside the coils; this is either a sign of undercharging at installation, or there’s a leak somewhere.

Sensor Issues

Behind the control panel of your room AC is a thermostat sensor, and it detects air temperature that comes into contact with the cooling coils. Should this sensor fail to do its job, your thermostat will endlessly think that the air isn’t cold enough, hence it will cycle constantly, bloating up your power bill and possibly wearing down your system.

Electronic Problems

At times, the electrical system within your trusty air conditioner can even get corroded from overuse or in some cases, inefficient copper wiring installation (a risk in buying low-quality AC units). The electrical currents that power the compressor and fan could also wear these components down and cause them to break.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Selecting an Air Conditioning System in Houston

With an annual average of 67.9°F, Houston is one of the hottest cities in the country. In fact, the city occasionally hits above 100°F at least several days a year. The blistering heat makes investing in a great air conditioning system important for residents.

Choosing an air conditioning system can be a tough task, considering all the brands and models available on the market. With this in mind, here are a few tips to remember before purchasing an air conditioning system.

The Right Size
Everything may be bigger in Texas, but size isn’t everything when it comes to air conditioning systems. Many homeowners in hot areas tend to overdo the size of the unit, resulting in higher energy bills and an inefficient air conditioning system.

SEER Rating
The seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating describes an air conditioning unit’s energy efficiency. The SEER rating ranges from 13 to 21, with a higher number denoting higher efficiency. Choosing an efficient unit can keep your home cool in an energy bill-friendly manner.

Reputable HVAC Contractor
Do not be afraid to consult an HVAC contractor. These professionals often offer free consultations and can help you understand what makes an air conditioning unit great. In addition, many of these contractors offer or know places that sell air conditioning units for great prices, making the search for an air conditioning system much easier.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Going Tankless with Hot Water

Everyone wants to hit the bathroom for their daily rituals like some time in the shower and come out feeling refreshed. Slight problem, though; you’re treated to a blast of cold water when you shouldn’t have been. When this happens, which is nearly all the time, it may be hinting you to replace your house’s existing water heater, even more so if the heater’s had too many years under its belt. One good choice for a replacement would be a tankless water heater on stream.
Also known as on-demand heaters, tankless water heaters, by definition, do not have an integrated water tank. Instead, a small heat exchange chamber processes the water when activated. The power source may be either electric heating coils or gas-fired systems. However, in choosing the tankless heater, your plumber will lay out the variables.
First, you will have to evaluate the normal flow rate for the unit in terms of gallons per minute. You also have to identify the temperature of the inbound cold water and the desired temperature of the hot water. You must figure out which plumbing functions in the house will be priority for the heater. Consider getting at least one if the bathroom and the dishwasher may use it at the same time.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fixing Water That's Too Hot

In a parody video celebrating the close-to-real-life gameplay of Grand Theft Auto V, a character is shown needing to get the shower temperature just right, lest he instantly die from the water being too hot. Of course, the entire thing is exaggerated—but there is still an all-too-real harm in taking a bath with water that is too hot.

Hot water injuries are serious enough that some lawyers offer litigation services for them. Studies show that 37 degrees Celsius is a safe temperature for hot bathing water. However, if the temperature gets any higher, people can anticipate third-degree burns in a matter of minutes or seconds. The American Burn Association says kids, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities will be at risk of scalding.

This should be a cause for concern in homes with operating gas water heaters, as these devices can get hot faster than electric ones. Their thermostats always have to be checked and adjusted so the water will be aptly warm. Defective thermostats can keep the too-hot setting permanently and must be repaired or replaced.

If, for some reason, you can't adjust the temperature because the knobs won't work, shut off your heater to prevent scalding. Never attempt to diagnose problems yourself especially if you have a gas water heater, due to the risk of an explosion. Allow a professional to handle it.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Prevent Nasal Congestion With Amana Dehumidifiers

Houston locals may be lucky they don't experience a harsh winter like people from other U.S. states do, but they still do have to adjust to temperatures that are cooler than what they are normally used to. In addition, since the cooler weather may prompt them to stay indoors, they should check for indoor air quality and humidity levels. Poor indoor air quality and humidity levels make them more prone to the adverse health effects of pollutants such as dust mites and pet dander.

Fortunately, the use of dehumidifiers like the ones Houston homeowners can get from Amana, can help them alleviate the symptoms of nasal congestion and allow them to breathe better. If they have trouble sleeping due to blocked nasal passages, they can place the dehumidifier in the bedroom. They just have to make sure it is placed about 4 to 5 feet away from their bed, and run it while sleeping. 
Dehumidifiers come in three main types: dehumidifying ventilators, heat pump dehumidifiers, and chemical absorbent dehumidifiers. While all of these types have the same function, which is to minimize the moisture level in a particular room, each type has its own method of reducing moisture levels in an area. Homeowners who wish to purchase dehumidifiers can turn to professionals to guide them which type is suitable for them.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Want to Save Money? Insulate Your Attic.

Everyone wants a comfortable home, and one way to ensure this is through proper heating and cooling. However, keeping a comfortable temperature inside your house can cost you more than 50% in your total electrical bill, according to the US Energy Department. Of course, making your home more energy efficient can cut down this expense, while helping the environment at the same time.

One of the best ways to do this is through attic insulation. Since the attic is directly below the roof, it collects a lot of heat which can radiate through your ceiling and into your home. A properly insulated attic will have sufficient R-value or thermal resistance—the ability to resist heat transfer. According to, the ideal R-value for Houston attics must be between R30 to R60 to allow maximum insulation.

Insulation will save you money regardless of the season. In the winter, an insulated attic will prevent the heat inside your home from escaping, meaning less work for your heater. In the summer, it will prevent heat from entering your home, which in turn lowers your cooling costs.

The attic may not be a popular option for home renovation projects. However, attic insulation is a worthwhile improvement that will help your home save energy and keep your family comfortable year-round.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Choosing an Appropriate HVAC System

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems combine the cooling functions of air conditioners with the heating utilities of furnaces, making them the ultimate indoor temperature control devices. These dual-purpose devices help maintain ideal indoor temperatures all year round. As such, households that rely heavily on such devices consequently need to choose their HVAC systems wisely to avoid unnecessary utility expenses.

Among other things, homeowners need to take note of the size of each room in their homes to determine how much energy is needed to keep it comfortably warm or cool. Factors that influence ventilation and heat loss and/or gain such as doors, windows, and insulation must also be considered before choosing an HVAC. It’s much easier to ask an experienced HVAC contractor to compute these details.

Once the dimensions of your home are accounted for, you can then enlist a contractor for help in choosing an HVAC unit that produces the right amount of power for your entire residence. Such a contractor can be relied upon to install the HVAC unit itself. Likewise, you can leave the task of constructing the ductwork in the capable hands of HVAC installation experts, so you certainly don’t have to worry about doing all the dirty work yourself.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Why HVAC Maintenance Is Important

The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is responsible for regulating the temperature and flow of air in your home. During winter, the furnace generates heat to help you combat the cold, while during summer, your air conditioning wards off heat. This makes your home a comfortable sanctuary all year round. No wonder it deserves your utmost care.

HVAC maintenance is one of the major tasks you should be faithful doing as a homeowner. You've probably invested in maintenance projects involving various elements in your property, including a car, roof, and walls, yet you might forget about you HVAC. With lack of maintenance, your HVAC might suddenly act up during winter.

In maintaining your HVAC, one of the most important thing to do is to replace the filter. Unlike other parts of the system, the filter wears off easily, which can be explained by its task. A dirty filter will prevent sufficient heat or cold from flowing into and throughout the house, eventually reducing energy efficiency.

If you think you can't handle the job, hire a professional. A professional technician can accurately identify problems that have to be fixed and do the necessary repair work. They can also provide the right recommendations so that your HVAC will perform well through the coming winter.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Telltale Signs of Furnace Thermostat Failure

Houston locals may not experience harsh winter conditions unlike those who live in the East Coast and Midwest states, but residents of Space City still need to get their coats and scarves ready for when the cold season finally arrives. In addition, they need to make sure that their home heating systems are in good condition to provide adequate warmth on those nights when temperatures can drop to 45 degrees Fahrenheit or even lower.

Like every other household equipment, furnaces are not impervious to system failure. A faulty furnace thermostat, for instance, can cause your heater to cycle on or off too frequently or else provide insufficient heat when you need it most. If your home feels too hot or too cold, the likely culprit is a faulty thermostat. You might want to call in a heating repair expert to have the heat anticipator adjusted.

If such a solution doesn’t work, it may be time to have the thermostat replaced with a new one. You might want to look for products by trusted brands like Trane. Likewise, be sure to find a reliable heating and air conditioning installation expert with a proven track record of technical expertise and service quality.