Wednesday, May 14, 2014

When to Call In Your AC Repairman

The sizzling heat of a Texas summer can be unbearable, even more so when you’re in Houston. Under such heat, it’s important to keep the air conditioner running. The problem with that is that with constant use, your AC unit can slow down, or break down altogether. You can avoid sudden disasters like in the middle of July, by knowing the right time to call on licensed technicians to check your AC unit.

Before Problems Happen
Remember that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Regular maintenance can crowd your quarterly budget, but major repairs could be more costly. Call an AC professional for unit checkups at least once a year. An AC expert should be able to do the necessary maintenance work, such as cleaning the unit’s coils and filters, and inspecting the ductwork. Annual unit checkups should help catch potential problems that may cause you big headaches later on.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Knowing When Your Air Conditioner Needs Professional Care

With the Texas heat beating down on the city of Houston, air conditioning is a life saver. However, it can malfunction or break down just when you need your room to cool. Knowing when to call the repairman is an important part of maintaining your AC unit. Here are some AC problems that might need professional attention.

Faulty Installation

A common problem that crops up more times than it should is incorrect installation. If not properly placed, a central air conditioner can have leaky ducts and weak airflow. This is the same for a window AC unit. If faced with this problem, only a technician should be able to reinstall the unit properly. It will cost your more for the extra work of correcting an error, but it will be better in the long run.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Save On Your Air Conditioning Bill with Proper Maintenance

It can be uncomfortably hot in Houston. The tropical heat brings both humidity and high temperatures, a combination that can dispirit and dehydrate anyone. In such temperature, a well-functioning AC unit is a godsend, though there is a price for this cooling comfort. You can expect high electricity bills with continued usage.

There are a few ways to shave off a few dollars from your power bill. You can keep energy down by making sure your unit operates at its highest and most efficient level. You can ensure this by maintaining your AC unit regularly; the less maintained it is, the weaker its performance which results in higher energy use. Focus on maintaining these parts:

  • Filters – Clean air filters to ensure normal airflow and that only clean, filtered air gets in.
When dirty air reaches the evaporator coil, it can reduce its ability to absorb heat. Make sure your filters are cleaned or replaced on a monthly basis.
  • Coils – The two coils that are the heart of an AC unit, the evaporator and condenser coils, can collect dirt, depending on their location. Make sure that there are no obstructions around these parts to ensure their smooth operation.
  • Fins – The aluminum fins on both coils can get bent and block airflow. Regularly check to see if they are intact and not dented.

These are the three main parts you can look out for; if your AC still does not seem to cool the room, call an AC professional to check on your unit. He will recommend the proper repair to keep your AC working at full efficiency once again. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

How A Water Heater is installed

Water heaters are indispensable items in every household today, and installing them requires a delicate process which is better handled by a professional. Here is the step-by-step installation process.
Step 1. While working with an electrician, the plumber disconnects the old water heater’s pipes and wiring. The water at the main is shut off, and remaining water is drained from the old tank. He then cuts through the existing incoming and outgoing water lines using a pipe cutter to make way for the new heater.

Friday, May 2, 2014

How Much Does a Water Heater Repair Cost?

Acquiring a brand new water heater isn’t cheap, so is the cost of maintaining or repairing it. But what if one day the heater breaks down after years of service and the repairs cost more than having it entirely replaced? Let’s take a look at some numbers.
A nationwide research by the home improvement site put the average cost of water heater repairs from $237 to $513, with the mean being $437. The maximum cost peaked at $1,000 while the minimum recorded a meager $52. Most of the time, the final cost of repairs depend on the appliance’s type, the scope of its problem, and whether additional repairs are needed to get it up and running again.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How a Refrigerator Works

It doesn’t matter how far refrigeration has advanced these days, all refrigerators universally work by utilizing identical technologies that have been tried-and-tested through the years. Here’s a short explanation of how a refrigerator works.
Refrigeration is a process run by five major components: the fluid refrigerant, a compressor, condenser coils, evaporator coils, and an expansion device. The fluid refrigerant is the so-called blood of the appliance as all cooling begins with it; which is controlled by the compressor and the coils.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Facts you should know about Home Insulation

Unless you want your AC unit or heater to spend more and more energy, causing your power bill to keep increasing until you can barely fit it into your budget, you’ll need to have insulation in your walls and attic. Doing so prevents the warm or cooled air from escaping out of your house, making it much easier to reach the temperature you’ve set in your thermostat.


The first thing you should know about getting home insulation is its R-value. Basically, this measures the resistance of your chosen insulation type to thermal resistance or heat conduction. The higher the R-value, the more efficient the insulation is. You should know though, that the Department of Energy measures this value differently based on where your home is located.


Two of the most common types of insulation are blown-in and fiberglass. Blown-in insulation contains loose-fill particles of fire-retardant insulating material. A compressor then blows these particles into your attic. This is an efficient way to get insulating material into the nooks and crannies of your attic, making for an even distribution, even if your attic has a particularly irregular shape.

Fiberglass insulation, on the other hand, comes in rolls or strips of varying lengths. This type of insulation is excellent for your floor joists, wall studs, and even your ceiling rafters. A paper backing, which can be stapled onto studs or beams, is attached to the insulating material.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Signs it’s Time to retire your Air Conditioner

Your trusty air conditioner works for you non-stop, but eventually, it will have problems, or maybe even completely break down. In most cases, you can have it up and running again by hiring an HVAC contractor to do some repairs. Nevertheless, there are times when you should know how to give up on it and buy a new one, as constant repairs at that point could be too costly.

Ten Years of Service

Sure, there may be many air conditioners capable of running for much longer than ten years, but its efficiency will already have been significantly reduced. Besides, your ten year old AC might already be outdated, so you should consider upgrading to a more advanced and perhaps more energy-efficient model.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Facts about DIY AC Coil Maintenance

As homeowner, it’s always important that you keep your HVAC system clean and well-maintained. However, you don’t always have to hire a professional for some of the tasks; there are some things that you can clean out on your own, just like your air conditioner’s evaporator and condenser coils, for instance. Here are some facts you should know about these components:

What They Are
Basically, the cooling function of your air conditioning system works on cycles of shifting a substance, called a refrigerant, from gas to liquid and back to gas. The condenser coil turns the heated gas refrigerant liquid, allowing it to pass through the evaporator coil, which in turn transforms it back to gas.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Planning on Buying a new Air Conditioner?

If you think that your old air conditioner is already way past salvage with a few repairs, it might be time to buy a new one. With spring well on its way, the urgency to have a dependable cooling system is only all the more heightened. However, there are a few things you should take into consideration before buying a unit?

Which one?
Manufacturers like Trane have multiple types of ACs available for your purchase, and each one could be a boon or bane for your home, depending on how well you choose based on your needs, that is. For instance, if you want to cool your entire house without expending too much in energy cost, you might want to opt for a central unit, but if you only plan on cooling certain rooms at a time, get a window unit.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fine-tuning Your Air Conditioning

It's always crucial to check your HVAC system so you know what needs tuning up and repairing. Here are a few things you should take a closer look at in order to maintain an effective and efficient air conditioner:

Air conditioner filters
Routinely inspect filters to ensure that dirt will not block normal airflow and that it will not be carried into other parts of the unit. When dirt reaches the coil, it can impair your equipment's ability to absorb heat and cool your home.

Air conditioner coils
Like filters, coils can also accumulate enough dust and dirt to lower the functionality of your air conditioning unit. Make sure to check your evaporator coil and condenser coil annually. Eliminate any debris blocking proper airflow and prune plants near the unit.

Coil fins and condensate drains
Coil fins can easily bend back and block airflow, while condensate drains can become clogged, making reducing humidity harder. Acquire a fin comb to brush back the fins into their original condition. In turn, pass a stiff wire through drain channels to eliminate debris.

Though it's great to tune up an AC by yourself, you should still hire a professional technician trained to find problems in your unit. An experienced technician can check for the right amount of refrigerant, test for any chemical leaks, inspect electric terminals, and verify control sequences to make sure that everything is in good working condition.

AC Repair Basics You Need To Know

Your air conditioning system has conked out and you're looking at repair websites again. The main problem is that when an AC unit breaks down, it means you haven’t done the necessary maintenance or early repair, which could have prevented the breakdown in time. Here are a few things you need to know about AC maintenance.

Knowing When to Call

It's pretty obvious that you have to call for help when the AC unit becomes completely frazzled. However, did you know that you could have called earlier and saved a lot of money? One of the warning signs for AC repair is a loud noise from the unit. Low airflow and lack of cooling are also valid reasons to call a repair company. You could probably live with these problems, but the longer you delay the call, the greater the chance you'll have to completely replace the unit.

When calling a pro to do repairs, always check their references and license to ensure that they're above board, and that your AC system is in good hands.

Maintenance You Can Do

The above symptoms could have been avoided, too. Always ensure that you have clean air filters. Clogged air filters slow down airflow, leading to less efficiency. You also need to turn off your AC when you are not using it. This may sound basic but plenty of people are tempted to leave it on to maintain room temperature. Long operation hours, however, can lead to breakdowns as well.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Making Sure Your Air Conditioner is in Great Shape

Air conditioners are pretty robust pieces of machinery. However, there are times when they conk out, mainly because of the lack of maintenance. Your air conditioner going into disrepair can be an uncomfortable experience, especially during the long, hot Houston summers.

Air conditioner repair can be pretty expensive, so it would be better to prevent the problem by doing minor maintenance on your air conditioning unit. Here are a few things to check as you give your air conditioner a once over.

The main parts that you yourself can check are the filters and coils. Dirty filters can impede the airflow, which can significantly reduce the efficiency of your unit. Cleaning or replacing these filters can increase your air conditioner's efficiency by a factor of fifteen percent. Central air conditioners usually have filters in the walls and ceilings, while room air conditioners have it inside the grill facing the room.

Coils are the other part that you should be concerned with. The evaporator and condenser coils of an air conditioner accumulate dirt over a period of time. Dirty coils will have difficulty absorbing heat, meaning that you will have hotter air being piped in. A yearly cleaning would make sure they are in top condition.

A professional technician would also be able to check and do more, so hiring them for the job is advised. Maintenance fees are lower than repair fees, after all.

Signs That the Water Heater is Giving Up

It is hard to live each and every single day of the year when a blast of cold water rudely awakens you in the morning. This harrowing thought is one of the biggest reasons why a proper, functional water heater is a necessity for every Houston household.
However, all things break down immediately. Undoubtedly, a machine like a water heater is sure to be worn out fast due to the fact that it deals with an element as powerful as water. As hot water is an important component to a comfortable life, it is important for homeowners to know when it is time to start thinking about having a new water heater installed.
One of the most obvious signs of heater failure is colored water. When brownish water comes out of the faucet, it most likely means that the interior of the tank is already rusting. Obviously, this is dangerous to your health, so replacement is definitely in order.
Another thing that has to be considered is the age of the water heater. If the water heater has outlived its warranties, then it is probably a good time to replace it. Waiting for any signs of trouble is a surefire way to win a month’s worth of horrible baths.
Finally, it is time to consider replacement if the heater is leaking on places it’s not supposed to. It probably means that the heater is about to give in, so a replacement should be in order before flooding occurs.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Primer on Common Water Heater Problems

Hot water is an important component in a comfortable life. It is difficult to take a bath if every tap in the bathroom spews nothing but freezing water. The necessity for hot water makes the water heater one of the most important components of a home’s plumbing system.
However, like all tools and components that are constantly exposed in water, a water heater is bound to have its set of problems over time. When these problems arise, it is important that the homeowners immediately do what they can to solve these issues and keep clean, hot water flowing through the tap.
Cold Water Temperature
If the water is not hot enough, then there must be a problem with the thermostat. If the temperature in it is high but the water tells you otherwise, it should also point to the same problem. Apart from that, a faulty thermocouple is also a suspect.
Noises from Inside the Tank
No one likes noises coming from a tank that is supposed to only contain nothing but water. The noise may have been caused by sediment buildup and the heating element burning it. Another plausible cause is the heating element slowly burning out.
Water Smells

If the water smells like rotten eggs, it is an early sign that the sacrificial anode is at the end of its service life. It calls for a replacement. You’d want to call in a professional for this so that you don’t further damage your system.

Setting up an Amana AWUF for your HVAC System

Amana has long cemented a reputation as a manufacturer of air quality products designed to be used with heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. A check of their catalog will give you a choice of options for your contractor to install. However, if you are on the market for a new HVAC air-treatment device that has durability and efficiency written all over it, Amana’s AWUF Series of wall-mount air handlers can be right up your alley.
The AWUFs – all 19 models of them - have a number of common features. They include a fully-insulated body made of galvanized steel, a direct-drive motor with variable speed controller, aluminum tubes and a built-in filter rack with integrated filter. An AWUF air handler also features a thermoplastic drain pan with primary and secondary connections.
The heating output differs across the entire AWUF line. The most basic model, the 180316B, churns out 18,000 BTUs an hour at 3.5 kilowatts of electric heat. On the other hand, the king-size 371016B fires up 36,000 BTUs/h while emitting 10kW. As far as refrigerants go, you have a choice of either R410 or R22 to install in your preferred AWUF.
An Amana AWUF is meant to last when hooked to the HVAC. They carry a ten-year limited warranty, extensive parts support options, and various settings to help you breathe better.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Backing Up the Attic Insulation

The attic will always be one of the spookiest places in your home. Admit it – it’s cold, dark, and no one will go up there unless you have something to store. However, the attic is also one of the prime places to watch for when it comes to keeping the heat warm in your home. A weakened insulation is one way to seek your energy bills climb up because the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system has to perform at higher capacity for the same amount of heat.
Installing further insulation requires determining the right R-values for your locality. In the case of Houston, a check of the Energy Department’s national chart shows the city, as well as most of southern Texas, at Zone IV. The category requires the attic to have a thermal protection value at R-49.
Your insulation specialist can determine if the existing insulation is enough for the value and may recommend installing extra. However, placement is key to getting the insulation down pat. Some experts state that if the attic is not used for storage, set up the insulation right on the floor; if the space has trusses linking down to the attic floor the gaps should be sealed with batts or spray-on insulation. However, plan on installing rafter vents to reduce moisture.

How the Btu came to be the Standard for Measuring Heat

The HVAC industry has been using the British thermal unit (Btu) for generations in measuring heat. For furnaces, how much Btu can one unit produce at a unit of time? For air conditioners, how much Btu can a unit remove from a room?

Articles on how the Btu came to be are scarce; nobody’s certain about its origin. The only viable basis is from statements made by 19th century scientists regarding the measurement of heat, the earliest date of the term’s use being 1876. At the time, the Btu was known as simply “heat unit,” arguably a simpler and more universal term.

The first to mention Btu was James Hargreaves, better known for his spinning jenny invention. He mentioned the unit of heat to be used for his thermo-radiometer to be expressed either in Btu or calories. Basically, heat is energy, so using calories to measure the amount of heat isn’t anything new or erroneous.

However, William Anderson gave the modern definition of the Btu. Anderson, in a lecture on 1884, defined the Btu as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one lb. of water by one degree Fahrenheit. The definition has been in use in the scientific community ever since. Despite its sketchy background, the world has embraced the Btu as the standard.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Combustion Science Courtesy of Your Furnace

The fire triangle, composed of fuel, oxygen and heat, needs to go through the process of combustion to release energy. Not only does this release the energy stored in fuel, it also makes sure that there’s enough heat to be reused in the process.

To better understand the science behind combustion, here are a few details, using your furnace as an example, to help you out.

Your Furnace Needs Heat
So you rely on your furnace for heat. The interesting thing here is that your furnace also relies on heat in order to give you heat. As long as the three elements are present, combustion can go on for practically forever. The process derives heat from the heat it produced with byproducts, such as soot.

Believe it or not, this phenomenon has been the talk of some handyman forums on the Internet. They claim that furnaces refuse to start if the weather gets cold enough.

Heat Depends on Fuel
As heat is basically energy, the type of fuel used determines the amount of heat released into the environment. Natural gas is one of the most common furnace fuels used because of the immense amount of energy it contains. While its energy content dwarfs that of wood by a great deal, natural gas is advantageous for furnaces in the big city.

Getting Your AC Ready for Spring

It’s been a long winter, and after a season or two of hibernation, it’s time for your air conditioner to take to the stage once again. However, considering it’s been a long time since its last use, don’t expect your AC to just work fine the moment you turn it on. Instead, you should look into simple preparation tips to make sure that your AC will work efficiently when the cooling season starts.

Change Filters

Even if your AC hasn’t been used in a long time, don’t assume that the air filters are still in perfect condition. Open up your unit, check the filter and replace or clean it up as necessary. Consult your cooling system’s manufacturer (it might be Trane, for instance) to know the right steps to take.

Check for Debris

Whether you have a window unit or a central air conditioner, you should always clear it of debris before you even consider using it again. Clean out the ductwork, reaching as far as you can with a reliable vacuum cleaner. The condenser fan is another frequent hangout spot of dirt and debris, so you should check there, too.

Schedule Repairs

It’s also important that you check your AC for any damage it might have incurred in the time it wasn’t in use. If you find any flaws or defects, make sure to call a reliable HVAC contractor to patch up your unit and return it to a good working condition.

Monday, March 10, 2014

What to Look For In an AC Contractor

There are lots of companies specializing in air conditioning repair in Houston, Texas. But how do you choose the best one? You need to have a set of criteria when looking for the right AC contractor to do any job. Whether you need to install a new air conditioning system, or you just need someone to look at a non-cooling AC system.


What will help boost your trust in a prospective contractor more than anything is if a friend or a family member has already acquired their services and was actually satisfied. Ask your family or friends so you can narrow down the list of contractor’s best fit for the job.

Licenses and Certifications

The next thing you need to ask is - does the contractor have a license and the proper certifications to run an air conditioning repair business?" If you are not aware of the specific certificates, you may search for information on the internet or call a government representative from your local area.


In the event that a contractor gets hurt, you should not be held liable for it. There are specific types of insurance that protect you from this. A good AC repair company will have liability insurance. In addition, insurance to protect property that could be damaged during the repair service should also be considered.

Dealing With an Inadequately Cooling AC

When your air conditioner breaks down or is not performing well during times of extreme heat, waiting for an AC repair shop to come to the rescue may leave you without it for several days. In a year, Houston, TX experiences about 99 days of severe heat - temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Heat like this can cause heat stroke and even death. Older folks are particularly at risk.

Before you call an AC repair technician, there are several things that you can check and fix yourself. You may be able to get your air conditioning back in operation and save on the repair bill by looking at a few common problems with AC units.

The first thing you should check is the filter to see if it is covered with dust or other debris. This is one of the main causes of underperforming air conditioners. A dirty air filter will not only slow down the unit, but also degrades the respiratory health of the people using the system. In this case, you can simply clean the filter or replace it.

Next, look at the condenser coils and check if they are dirty and dust them off. The condenser is located at the back of the unit. Many other things can cause an AC to cool inadequately. If you can’t see quickly what is causing your AC to underperform – then go ahead and call a qualified technician specializing in AC repair. You don’t want to have a family member or yourself having a heat stroke!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Eco-friendly Air Conditioning System

The mighty sun cooling your house? That sounds very illogical and impossible. Well, that was before. With today’s technology, the sun may be able to give you the cold and fresh air you need in your homes, especially in places like Houston, Texas.

One of the newest technology’s that has been invented by the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid is a solar powered air conditioning system. The solar air conditioning system harnesses the power of the sun and residual heat as an energy source to drive the cooling system.

Industries nowadays have been developing machines that are friendly to the planet such as this solar powered air conditioning system. Due to alarming climate changes around the world, governments and non-governmental organizations have intensified campaigns for environmental awareness. Utilization of a sustainable source of energy is becoming the new trend in the market.

Using this type of air conditioning system in your home will not only lessen your carbon footprint, but also lessen your pollution contribution while at the same time saving you a lot of money. The energy from the sun is still free, so far, so a big chunk of the electric bill can be redirected to your savings.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why You Should Consider Tankless Water Heater Installation

Why you should switch from a conventional water heater that uses a tank to hold and heat water, to a tankless water heater, is really a no brainer. Why in the world would you want to try and keep forty gallons of water hot all day when you might not even be there to use it?
You are then paying for electricity or gas, if you have a gas water heater, unnecessarily. A tankless water heater provides water on demand. Which is another reason to have one. You will never run out of hot water and have to wait till it gets hot again, as those with large families have to do.
Another reason is that the tankless variety takes up a lot less space than one with a tank. Being 2 to 3 times smaller, they can be, and are usually just mounted on the wall.
Additionally, since there is no holding tank, there is very little surface for the accumulation of sediments. This means much lower maintenance and cleaner water.

However, the greatest benefit is that since a tankless heater does not need to be on all the time, you save a lot on your energy bill.

Friday, February 28, 2014

How to Solve Water Heater Problems

If your hot water heater is having problems, there are things that you can do yourself before calling a plumber for water heater repair or thinking about replacement. Here are some things that one can do when the water heater starts having problems.
Water Heater is Leaking
Often water heaters will leak at the pressure relief valve if the water temperature is set to high. Simply lower the temperature a bit and see if that solves the problem. You should also check all the plumbing connections to and around the water heater. If you find water coming from the bottom that is rust colored, then the tank is probably leaking and you will need a new one, as water heater tanks can't be repaired.
Rust-colored water
Rust-colored water means that the anode rod has stopped functioning properly. The anode rod prevents rust from gathering inside the water tank. Fortunately, the anode rod is easy to replace, and replacement rods are available at the nearest supply store.
Smelly water

If the water coming out of the faucet exudes an undesirable smell, it only means that there is a bacteria buildup in the tank. In order to combat this problem, the water must be flushed out of the tank and be filled with 2 pints of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution (assuming that the tank can handle 40 gallons of water). Let the solution sit for two hours before refilling the tank with water.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tips on Maintaining Your Appliances

Food preparation, storage, and cleaning are some of the household tasks that were improved by different household appliances. Washers, dryers, ovens, stoves, refrigerators, freezers, garbage disposals, trash compactors, microwave ovens and more have made it so that families can live the lifestyles that they are leading today.
These devices are also susceptible to wear and tear. A lack of proper care can speed up the deterioration and cost you more in replacing them. There are things that you can do in order to keep appliances working for a little while longer and get the most out of your investment.
It is important that the condenser coil behind the refrigerator remains dust-free, as a dusty coil will cause the refrigerator to work harder, which in turn reduces its life span. Dust or vacuum off the coils to help it last longer. It is also advisable to keep refrigerators away from sources of heat.
Dishwasher water must be kept at a high temperature so that it can effectively clean the dishes, so it is important to raise the temperature of the water heater thermostat if it is not hot enough. If the dishwasher has a removable filter, it is also advisable to keep it clean and free of food particles and other material.
Microwave Oven
Wipe the microwave interior and door seals regularly with a damp cloth. Clean the grease filters from the vent hood on a monthly basis. Never use metal cooking pans with your microwave oven.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why Insulate Your Houston Home?

Houston, Texas did not experience the extreme cold of the polar vortex when it hit the east coast in January. However, the area still had colder than normal temperatures that brought a rare snow to Houston and threats of a dangerous ice storm.
Since Houston is not used to such cold weather, many homes have not been built to retain heat as effectively as homes in more northern climates. If a home is as little as 5 to 10 years old, it may be one of the most under insulated homes in the country This means that heat is lost and the HVAC units and the hot water systems have to work harder, costing homeowners more in energy bills.
The solution to this problem is the installation of additional insulation in order to keep the heat inside the homes. Insulating different parts of the home can bring the benefits of heat retention, however, one of the most important parts of the home to insulate, would have to be the roof.
Since heat rises, the roof is the part of the house where insulation for Houston homes will be the most effective. A properly insulated attic can save as much as 20% or more a year in energy cost.
As Houston experienced one of the most bizarre winters in history, the importance of insulation has never been more important. Other parts of a home can benefit from insulation such as ductwork, hose bibs, and water risers.
Companies such as Village Plumbing & Home Services in Houston offer total insulation packages that will help homeowners stay warm and save money.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Taking the musty smell of the basement

The basement is always one of those places at home where stuff you don’t need at the moment gets stashed away. In some cases, part of the room may have other purposes that you see fit. However, the fact that the basement is a confined space makes it a place for concentrated humidity, regardless of the temperature levels outside. The humidity will make it become susceptible to mold or mildew buildup. The remedy is a basement humidifier system.
Dehumidifiers are appliances designed to gather excess moisture from the air and reduce the humidity to acceptable levels. They are usually categorized into portable and whole-house models. Basement humidifiers fall into the portable variety, which condenses the water into a removable bucket for later disposal. A dehumidifier will usually have a float switch that cuts off the moisture flow from the bucket to prevent overflow.
When hiring a contractor to install a dehumidifier, have them analyze the basement for overall humidity and the placement of the machine to gather as much excess moisture as possible. If you do not have the time to take buckets of condensed water out of the house for disposal, your contractor may recommend installing a dehumidifier linked to an outside connection to help channel the water away from the house.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Troubleshooting Your HVAC Furnace Igniter

The ignition is one of the key components of an HVAC system’s furnace. The fuel used for heating passes through the igniter, which lights it on the way to the combustion chamber. Contemporary furnace igniters are split into hot surface or intermittent pilot types. However, the part may sometimes act up over its operational lifetime, warranting a solution to get it back in the burn.
The troubleshooting should begin by shutting down the thermostat and turning off the circuit breakers linked to the furnace. You will also have to turn off the furnace’s emergency switch and the utility connections for added measure, and then open the burner access door. The igniter is usually located near the flame sensor and the main furnace assembly.
Once in, you need to unscrew the igniter housing and inspect the part itself. Some HVAC specialists state that one sure sign of a faulty igniter is when its tip is discolored or cracked, which may be the case in hot-surface igniters, which have a heating coil similar in shape to that of the filament in incandescent light bulbs.

Your contractor may help with the igniter replacement if you are unsure how to do it. The part number or model number is usually imprinted on the igniter. A faulty igniter is not the end of the world. Your furnace’s warranty will help cover its replacement.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

How to Fix Your AC’s Thermostat

A lot of homeowners may not be aware that most of the air conditioning problems stem from a faulty thermostat. To check if the thermostat is still in good condition, here are some things that you have to look into:

Friday, February 14, 2014

Firing up a Trane XC95M to Battle the Arctic Cold

With polar vortexes sweeping the nation with artic temperatures of late, having a reliable and efficient heater has become more of an issue. A gas-powered furnace has a number of advantages over electric furnaces. In the case of Trane’s line of gas-powered furnaces, the XC95M stands out above the rest. If you’re on the market for a new furnace, you have every right to ask, “Why should I buy this?”
The company has rated the XC95M to have an annual fuel utilization efficiency grade of 97.3%, which is made possible with the presence of a main and secondary heat exchanger made of aluminized steel. The feature, along with an insulated heavy steel cabinet, helps the unit better retain heat for circulation.
Improved communication and control functions have been added to the XC95M’s system. For instance, the company’s ComfortLink II system enables proper synching between the furnace, the air conditioner, and the thermostat, for optimum temperature control options. Another new feature is a Telephone Access Mode that allows for remote control using a phone app.
The XC95M is the most expensive in Trane’s gas furnace catalog at around $3,000, with installation costs to be determined by your contractor. On the bright side, the gas furnaces heavy-duty durability will help ensure an earlier return on investment.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

How to Maintain Your AC’s Condenser

If you want your AC unit to remain in tiptop condition, you have to stick to the kind of maintenance it requires. Most condensers are placed outside the home so it can easily accumulate a lot of dirt and debris. Below are some helpful tips which you can easily follow to keep the condenser out of trouble.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Is Your AC’s Thermostat Working Properly?

Essentially, your AC unit’s thermostat controls the cold temperature in the room, and signals whether it will stop churning out cold air when the room reaches a certain temperature. Sometimes, though, with the wrong unit, the AC system can keep wasting energy even when the room is sufficiently cold. It’s important that to check on your thermostat to find out if it’s still doing its job properly.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Having a water heater installed is one of the most important tasks in the American household, especially in places where people have to fend off extremely cold weather from time to time. However, you should know that just because you had a heater set up, it doesn’t mean that it will keep working flawlessly for you even without proper cleaning and maintenance.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cold Water? Try a Tankless Heater

You would never think of the importance of your heater until you turn on the shower knob and get doused in ice-cold water. If you are set on having your water heater changed, then it is in your best interest to consider going tankless.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Step-by-Step Method to Check our Microwaves

In Houston, people sometimes take our appliances for granted– especially our microwaves– until they break down. Even the popular Houston Amana microwaves can malfunction without warning and get homeowners to look for help fast.

Monday, January 27, 2014

How to Ensure Your Insulation is Energy Efficient

If your attic insulation is inefficient due to faulty installation, then how can you really save on your energy use? Fortunately, there are a few ways to maximize what energy efficiency your insulation has regardless of its installation

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Guide to Effectively Troubleshooting HVAC Systems

When your heating, ventilation, and AC systems have failed, reputable contractors can surely restore them to tiptop shape. On the other hand, constantly hiring contractors for minor repairs could wreak havoc on your budget. To cut back on costs, it would be wise to arm yourself with the basics of troubleshooting HVAC.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Some Basic Houston HVAC Maintenance Tips

The ever-changing weather could prove uncomfortable for many households, and that is why it is important for them to have an efficient HVAC system. While constant repairs or replacement can wreak havoc on your budget, there are things you can do to avoid such. If you stick with the kind of maintenance it requires, you can effectively increase its service life.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Furnace from Trane in Houston? Some Maintenance and Safety Facts

Houston has many dependable manufacturers that can deliver safe and high-quality gas or electric home heating systems to your doorsteps. In addition, a lot of reliable contractors like Village Plumbing and Home Services can efficiently install such systems for you.