Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Air Conditioning Repair - What You Can and Shouldn’t Do

When you prefer to deal with the repairs of your air conditioning unit, without having to spend on professional service, additional damage may be inflicted that can result in more costly repairs. You might end up losing the warranty of your air conditioning system, put your health at risk, and trigger household accidents.
Do know about basic repairs and general maintenance?
You should have a user’s manual that includes information on basic air conditioning repair and maintenance. After all, not every AC problem must be consulted with professionals. Know about the possible causes of every issue that you may potentially encounter and whether you can fix them by yourself.
Don’t mess with anything that you know nothing about.
It can be tempting to be your own handyman, but a faulty motor, compressor, and refrigerant should all be entrusted to a certified AC professional. Otherwise, you may have to replace parts or buy a new system. Avoid fooling with the wiring and other crucial parts when you aren’t familiar with them.
Do consult with professionals.
You will be saved from a lot of worries, particularly in terms of your finances, when you let the professionals work on your AC. It may call for some of your time and effort to find a credible company that can provide you with timely and high quality service. However, when you have someone that you can entrust with your air conditioning repair needs, all the time you invested will be worthwhile.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

AC Repair – When to DIY and When to Hire a Pro

Many homeowners get tempted to embark on a DIY (do it yourself) project when it comes to AC repair and maintenance. While some people succeed, others had to deal with more costly repairs. There may be quick AC fixes and general maintenance that you can manage, but when it comes to full repair or replacement of filters and compressors, calling for the services of a professional is essential.
Take into account the element of time when planning to take on a DIY AC repair project. When you’re not in a hurry to get your air-conditioning unit repaired and have lots of time to spare for this task, then you may proceed with the planning and preparations. Figure out how long it will take to finish the repair before starting off and whether you have enough time to gather the resources.
Your knowledge and skills, finances, and the difficulty level of the repair needed must all be assessed rationally. You may be able to save more, and be relieved from stress, when you let the professionals work on the repairs and maintenance of your HVAC units. Remember, certified technicians are equipped with the right tools and materials (spare parts), which may not be available in your own household, necessary to bring back the efficacy of your appliances.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What You Probably Did Not Know About Your AC

The air conditioning unit is one of the most important components of your HVAC system and here are some facts that you probably did not know.

Turning off your AC for a long period will cause it to work harder the moment you turn it on. Therefore, when you're going on a vacation for a week or two, you can leave your AC on. However, make sure that it is networked with a programmable thermostat set to a low temperature that shuts if off and turns it on when necessary.

The ducts play a huge role in maintaining the cool in your home. These are the conduits that run throughout the house within the ceiling, which convey the cold air produced by your AC. If they are made of metal, chances are the cool will be absorbed and transferred through the ducts rather than into the house. Thus, you need them wrapped with insulation.

An old filter that has accumulated dust and grime does not only block cool air from being blown into your house, but also can cause respiratory illnesses. One clue that you need to replace your AC filter is when the members of your family start coughing. Dust and other harmful particles are now mixed with the air.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Why Hire Experts to Install Your Water Heater

For those who live in the tropics, water heaters are not needed and are usually only seen in hotels, condominiums and such. However, for those of us in the northern hemisphere, who regularly deal with colder temperatures during much of the year, life without hot water is unimaginable.

If the unit you have at home needs replacement, it is not a good idea to attempt a new water heater installation yourself, unless you really know what you are doing. Here are some reasons you should entrust water heater installation to professionals.

Incorrect connections of the electrical supply for an electric model can cause a fire or problems with the thermostat. For gas water heaters, hooking up the supply lines correctly is very important because gas leaks also put your home at risk of fire and explosion of the gas fumes.

In addition, the water pipes have to be connected to the right outlet of inlet for the system to work properly. Of course, leaking pipes are something that you don’t want. A professional plumber knows how to connect the pipes correctly so that they don’t leak.

Like any other basic utilities you have at home, your water heater is designed according to codes that constantly change. The changes in the installation codes are normally based on environmental and safety concerns. Experts update themselves on these changes to make sure that their work is safe for their clients.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Look Closely! How to Assess Water Heater Leaks

Much like everything else in your home, your water heater won’t last forever and will develop problems, especially leaks, from time to time. However, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions just yet after seeing that first puddle. Some water heaters “sweat” depending on how they’re installed, and that “leak” you’re seeing may just be an accumulation of condensed water. The only way to be sure is to conduct a thorough inspection of your unit.

If you spotted a leak, see if it originated from the pipes rather than the heating unit. You can easily repair a cracked water pipe by yourself. If the leak is traced back to your unit, see to it that it is unplugged or disabled before getting a closer look. Again, you can repair small, external cracks on your own, although the same can’t be said if the damage is from within the unit itself.

At this point, it would be wise to call a professional since only they know how to properly diagnose the problem. For example, a leaky conventional storage water heater may be caused by a busted dip tube, the component that transfers cold water to the bottom of the tank to be heated. The only way to be certain would be to take the whole unit apart, which is likely beyond your expertise.

Friday, December 13, 2013

These Signs Mean You Need an Amana Dehumidifier

Aside from air conditioning and heating units, dehumidifiers, like those made by Amana, are an essential component of any household’s HVAC system. True to their name, dehumidifiers reduce the amount of humidity that can be found indoors, but only to a certain extent since too little humidity can cause wood chips and dry skin. Although a hygrometer can determine if a dehumidifier is needed at home or not, homeowners can look for signs of excess humidity instead.

Condensation found in the glass is usually the most obvious indicator, especially if it appears during a relatively warm season. However, condensation in windows and doors may also be caused by the inherent humidity from certain construction materials like cement. Mold spots, on the other hand, are definitely caused by excess humidity (if not by water leaks) and should be removed with the help of a dehumidifier. If there are no black or brown spots, then a musky or rusty smell should be a giveaway.

Homeowners should also visit their basement (if they have one) every now and then. White and grayish marks on the floor are likely caused by spring water from the ground, which in turn can be a source of humidity. This telltale sign is more apparent in homes that were built on a low plain or an old riverbed.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Put Heat In Its Place with Attic Insulation

Heaters are a must-have appliance for homes that experience frigid temperatures. While the devices are reliable in providing warmth, they can quickly burn through energy if they’re not optimized. Essentially, heaters will expend more power if a house manages to lose more heat than the appliance can produce, and it’s a major problem for households that have difficulty paying large energy bills.

Homeowners should therefore optimize their homes such that they can contain as much of the heat as possible. There are various ways to go about this optimization, from sealing doors and windows, to replacing regular windows for low emissivity versions, yet the changes can be very costly if all done at the same time. For those who want to start small, installing attic insulation is the affordable way to go.

According to the laws of physics, heat rises, so it makes perfect sense why attic insulation should be the primary focus in optimizing a home’s heating capacity. Insulating the attic should keep heat from trying to escape through the roof and into the atmosphere. Not only does it considerably slow down heat loss, attic insulation also prevents the formation of dangerous ice dams on the roof of a home.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Importance of Sizing up Your HVAC System

HVACs systems are designed to provide heating and cooling throughout the year in a cost efficient manner. However, they can be notoriously ravenous when it comes to power consumption, and households that overly rely on the systems can end up paying a fortune to keep them running. It’s important to optimize an HVAC system to properly work for a property in order to make the most out of the energy used.

The energy efficiency of an HVAC system begins with choosing the right equipment for the job. Selecting an HVAC system that’s too small or too large can severely affect its efficiency and the amount of energy it expends. Thus, homeowners should be very careful and precise when selecting an HVAC system for their residences.

A simple method of determining the right HVAC system would be to measure the square footage of a property, then divide the result by 400. This should produce a figure equal to the rough amount of cooling and heating tons the property requires. Homeowners have the option of choosing an HVAC system that outputs roughly the same amount of cooling tons, or they can simply call upon an expert contractor and leave the selection process to the experts.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Detecting Problems in Gas Furnaces

Winter has set in Houston, and this means locals have to rely on their gas furnaces for warmth and comfort for the rest of the season. However, fully functioning furnaces are of course essential to produce the desired heat levels at home, but sometimes problems get in the way. A common problem that gas furnace owners experience is that the heating systems don't produce enough heat.

The usual culprit for furnaces that don't generate enough heat is an improperly set thermostat. However, if the thermostat is correctly set at the right mode and temperature and homeowners still can't feel the heat, a component that can be blamed is the propane or gas valve. 
In this case, homeowners will have to check if the valve is indeed open and doesn't have any blockage to obstruct propane or gas flow. If both components are found to be defective, it is recommended that homeowners call reliable HVAC contractors in Houston right away to fix it.
Another common problem with gas furnaces is noisy operations. While a noisy gas furnace doesn't automatically indicate a defect, it is incredibly bothersome, especially when someone has had a busy day at work and wants a good night's sleep. Homeowners can get their gas furnaces to quiet down by having the gas burner cleaned as needed.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Why Use an Efficient Trane Heater This Winter

Houston typically experiences a mild winter season, something that is hardly a bother to long-time residents. However, the first few days of December 2013 were a contrast to this usual winter scenario, taking locals by surprise. The Houston Chronicle reports that on December 7, Houston was colder than Deadhorse, Alaska (which is located in the Arctic Circle).

Some locals will naturally take refuge from the cold temperatures and seek warmth and comfort right in their own homes, making efficient heating systems in great demand. However, heating systems are not all the same, and homeowners have to determine which heating equipment is more ideal for their homes. For instance, homeowners who favor low-maintenance heating systems can opt for Trane gas furnaces instead of Trane oil furnaces.

Oil furnaces, while efficient in producing the desired heat in homes, tend to have more dirt and soot build-up, requiring frequent cleaning and maintenance or frequent filter changes. If homeowners prefer a heating system that comes with a more economical price tag, Trane oil furnaces can be a better fit for them than Trane gas furnaces. Whatever the homeowners prefer, they should turn to reliable HVAC contractors for advice when it comes to the installation of the system that is best for their home.