Over time, as your heating and air conditioning systems move air throughout your home, dust and other detritus can build up in your air ducts. This buildup can restrict air flow and make your furnace or air conditioner less effective at heating or cooling your home, resulting in higher energy bills in the long run while at the same time making your house less comfortable. Understanding the signs that your air ducts are becoming clogged can help you have them cleaned out before they become a serious issue.
Dust Buildup in Vents
Take the cover off of the outflow vents and peer inside. You may need a flashlight to see inside of your air ducts. If you can see a buildup of dirt, dust, or any other debris, it is extremely likely that there is further buildup deeper within your ducts as well. For inflow vents, check to see if there is a buildup of dust, usually in a fuzzy coating, on the vent. If there is, your air ducts may need to be cleaned.
If you have noticed an increase in the noise of your air conditioner or furnace, you most likely have a blockage somewhere inside your ductwork. The unit is straining more, and working harder, to push air throughout your home, but is unable to do so. If having your ductwork cleaned out does not decrease the noise, you’ll want a specialist to come in and look at your unit to ensure that there is not another problem that is causing the increase in operation noise.
Reduced Air Flow
If there is a reduced flow of hot or cold air when your air conditioner or furnace turns on, this is a sign that there is a blockage within your air ducts. Check individual outflow vents for air flow – a blockage may only effect a single duct, though cleaning the entire system is a good idea for long term maintenance to prevent other blockages from occurring.
Dirty Air Filter
Check the air filters for both your furnace and air conditioner. If they have become heavily clogged with dust and other debris, it’s a good idea to have your ducts cleaned out as well. Even though the filter was able to trap a great deal of dust, the reduced air flow throughout your ductwork means that dust can settle within the ducts. Clean out the filter and replace it, and then contact a HVAC specialist like Allzone Air Conditioning & Heating Corp to have your ductwork cleaned out.
With the winter heating season well underway, it’s important to remember that your air conditioner could also use a little TLC. Even if you’re not using it right now, it’s still a good idea to keep up with its maintenance. The following offers 4 simple steps you can take to keep your A/C unit in great shape for the spring and summer ahead.
Keep It Clean
The most important part about maintaining your air conditioner is keeping it as clean as possible. A clean A/C unit is also one that performs at its peak when it comes to reliability and energy efficiency. Here’s what you can do to keep your A/C unit free of dirt and other debris:
Keep It Covered
Placing a high-quality mesh cover or even a simple piece of plywood over the condenser cabinet can help prevent leaves, twigs and other debris from getting into the unit throughout the winter. It can also help keep rodents and other small animals from taking residence in your condenser cabinet.
Keep an Eye Out for Leaks
Refrigerant leaks can easily go undetected during the winter, when you’re least likely to use your A/C system. Keep a sharp eye on your unit’s refrigerant lines and associated fittings. If you see oil leaking out of the A/C compressor or any of the refrigerant lines, then chances are there may also be a refrigerant leak. If you do suspect a refrigerant leak, you should have your HVAC technician take a look and also double-check your A/C system’s current refrigerant charge.
Keep It Damage-Free
You should also be careful whenever you’re around your A/C unit, since there are many components that are surprisingly fragile. For instance, it’s usually a good idea not to touch the evaporator or condenser coil fins. These fins are made from very thin aluminum and can easily bend or even break if you’re not careful.
These tips can help you preserve your A/C system until it’s time to use it again next spring or summer. For more information, talk to a place like Shivani Refrigeration & Air Conditioning.
If you use a whole house humidifier to regulate the level of humidity inside of your home, you need to make sure that you take proper care of it. Like any large appliance, your whole house humidifier needs to undergo regular maintenance in order to continue to function properly. Here are three things you need to do in order to keep your humidifier in good working order.
#1 Change The Water Filter
One of the most important components of your humidifier is the water filter. Water has to flow through the filter in order for your humidifier to create the right level of humidity within your house. When the humidity level is too high in your house, your humidifier will pull moisture out of the air and pass it through the water filter.
In order for your humidifier to function properly, the water filter has to remain clean. Over time, it can get clogged up with mineral deposits and other debris that restrict the flow of water and air through the filter. When this happens, your entire unit does not work as effectively as it can.
All you need to do to keep your unit running smoothly is check your water filter every six months. In general, it is a good rule of thumb to change out your water filter at least once a year. However, it is a good idea to check it in between changes to make sure that it is not too dirty and to make sure that it does not need changed early.
#2 Clean The Pipes Within Your Humidifier
Next, you should also clean the pipes inside of your humidifier when you change out the water filter. The pipes within your humidifier play an essential role in circulating water and air through your humidifier; if they get clogged, your system will not work as well as it could.
When you remove your filter, wipe down all of your pipes and make sure that no debris is clogging them up.
#3 Balance Your Humidifier
Finally, you need to check your humidifier at least once a year and make sure that it is balanced and level. Your humidifier needs to be level in order for excess water to be distributed equally over the water evaporation panel. When your unit is uneven, your unit will not be able to evaporate water or circulate water effectively.
If you have a whole house humidifier, you need to give it a little attention at least once a year in order to ensure that it continues to work properly. You’ll need to change out the filter, wipe down the pipes, and make sure that the unit is evenly balanced. You can do this all yourself, or call in a humidifier or air conditioning expert like American Heating and Cooling Specialists to perform this yearly maintenance check.
When you purchase your first home, you may not know all of the maintenance details of every home appliance and device in your new home. And, if you moved in the spring or summer, you likely paid little attention to your home’s furnace other than the fact that it has one. So, when fall rolls around and you take a closer look at your furnace to realize your heating system uses oil, you may not know how to handle the situation. Get to know some of the best ways to maintain your oil furnace in order to ensure that it is ready to go when the weather turns cold.
Check To See If The Furnace Fires Up
First things first, when you are ready to check your oil furnace to ensure it will be ready when the weather changes, you will want to fire up your heat. So, flip your thermostat to heat and make sure you turn up the temperature to anything higher than the current temperature in your home.
Head to your furnace room and wait a few minutes for the system to switch on. Once your blowers start going, hold your hand near a vent to be sure the air is sufficiently warm. Listen for any strange noises like clicking, clanging, and thudding. If everything seems to be in order, you will likely be good to go.
Make A Few Corrections If The Furnace Doesn’t Work
When you try to test out your oil furnace and it doesn’t turn on within a few minutes, the first thing you will want to do is double-check your thermostat. Ensure that everything is set correctly, and if it is battery-operated, try changing the batteries.
If adjustments to the thermostat do not work, your next step will be to check your furnace fuel oil. To do this, be sure you have turned your furnace off. Then locate your fuel gauge and the tank.
Even if the gauge shows that your furnace oil is full, you will want to check the tank as well. Sometimes the gauge is damaged or somehow disconnected and your oil may deplete in the meantime.
If these basic corrections do not do the trick, it is best to call an oil repair specialist to take over. Major oil furnace repairs are rare, but can be quite complex to complete. Now that you have a few ideas about the ways that you can maintain your oil furnace, you can get started before the weather changes.
If your area is suddenly hit by a summer flood, and your outdoor air conditioning system sustains damage, you may wonder if you can save it. Although flood waters can create a host of mechanical problems in your cooling system, you may have a chance to save the outdoor unit if you act fast. Once you take the right precautions with your outdoor unit, contact your 24-hour air conditioning service for repairs. Here are things to do right now that help protect your outdoor AC unit from permanent disrepair.
Check the Outdoor Unit
The outdoor unit is the most vulnerable part of your cooling system. Not only is the unit exposed to flooding water first, it’s also vulnerable to bugs and other outdoor hazards after the water subsides around the property. You want to check the outdoor unit immediately after it’s safe to do so. Here’s what you do:
Avoid touching any debris that appears sharp or dangerous or you risk injuring your fingers and hands. If you notice live snakes crawling inside the unit after the flood, contact wildlife control to remove the reptiles.
Don’t spray pesticides directly into the unit or it’s parts to kill mosquitoes, biting gnats and other bugs. The oils from the chemicals may permanently damage the unit.
Examine the Foundation Around the Outdoor Unit
The cement foundation around the outdoor unit can bog down with water and collapse. If this happens, you may have a hard time saving the unit. You want to reinforce the cement supporting your outdoor unit as much as possible with strong plywood.
Look for weak areas of soil around the base of the unit. If the foundation appears wet or muddy, have someone help you slide one or two pieces of plywood beneath the unit to keep it from sinking into the ground or falling over. Follow this step to secure all areas around the cement foundation.
After you complete both steps above, cover the unit with canvas or some other water-proof material to keep it clean and secure. Once your 24-hour AC technician arrives, they’ll repair the unit.
For professional AC service, contact a company such as Elite Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
The air ducts that are a central part of your home’s HVAC system are definitely a critical component. They take the forced air that the system supplies and appropriately distribute it throughout your home to keep you warm and cool. Even though valuable, air ducts can leave you vulnerable as well. If the ducts are outdated or damaged, they can easily be exposed to mold, dust, and allergens on the inside.
Because the duct system works with flowing air, this means that these contaminants could easily make their way into the air you breathe indoors. Here are a few of the most common questions homeowners usually have about air duct cleaning.
How long will it take to have the ducts in your home professionally cleaned?
This will rely heavily on the size of your system and the type of problem that is present in the ducts. For example, cleaning for possible mold contamination could take a long time, but a simple clean out of dust and debris may only take a few hours.
Should you leave the house while the ducts are being cleaned?
The professional that works to clean your ducts will use various methods to try to keep dust and debris from being littered throughout your home while they clean, such as plastic partitions and commercial vacuum systems. However, it is almost impossible to eliminate every fine particle that becomes airborne in the process.
If you are especially sensitive to dust or have existing breathing problems, it may be best for you to have a relative sit in on the job while you stay outdoors or somewhere else.
Is it true that there are scams revolving around air duct cleaning services?
There were a few reports in 2014 from worthy news channels warning homeowners about specific companies offering to clean air ducts. One company in particular was revealed by a former employee who stated that the company purposely targeted elderly homeowners, telling them they had mold issues, but never really doing a sloppy job and collecting hefty payments. To make sure that the contractor or company representative that you employ to clean your ducts is legit you should
When it comes down to it, keeping the air ducts in your home clean as a senior is definitely important. Just be sure you find a reliable contractor who can help you if you believe that your ducts are indeed in need of some time and attention.
No matter how big a home is, it always seems that there aren’t enough bathrooms to accommodate the needs of the entire family. If your home suffers from this problem, a bathroom addition is a solution. When embarking on this type of project, plumbing is typically a large expense and this is often enough to scare homeowners away. However, there are ways to keep your plumbing costs low while still getting quality craftsmanship and the bathroom of your dreams.
Work Around Existing Plumbing
One way to keep your project costs lower is to work around the existing plumbing in your home. It’s much easier to add the necessary plumbing for your new bathroom if the bones of your plumbing system, such as a water line, are nearby. For example, say you wanted to add a half bath in your home. Your two options are off from the kitchen or off from the living room.
More than likely, it would be easier to access the existing plumbing lines near the kitchen because there is already plumbing going through the area. The likelihood that there is sufficient access to plumbing already in the living room is lower. The easier it is for the plumber to hook up the necessary plumbing for the new space, the lower your cost. Always consider access to existing plumbing when you’re trying to determine where to add your bathroom.
If your plans in the near future include upgrading an existing bathroom in your home, it makes more sense to do so at the same time you perform the new addition. Recognizing the savings with this tip requires you to think about long-term costs, rather than just short-term. Doing this can save you in two ways. First, a plumber in your area would likely be more willing to give you a discount for completing multiple projects at one time instead of performing them at separate times.
Secondly, you can save on material costs. For example, say you have a standard size tub that’s in good condition, but you plan to upgrade to a spa tub. You can save money by having the old tub installed in the new bathroom. Instead of paying for the cost of a new standard tub and a spa tub, you only have to purchase one of them.
With a little creative thinking on your part, saving money on plumbing costs for your new bathroom addition is a realistic possibility.
Before the warm weather really hits, you should run a test on your air conditioning unit. That way, you can see if your unit is in working order. If anything is amiss, you can schedule a repair appointment before your local HVAC contractors get really busy with summer repairs and installation.
Clean Your Outside Unit
The first thing you should do is clean the outside portion of your air conditioning unit. If you covered up your unit this past fall to protect it from the winter weather, remove the cover and clean up any dirt or debris that made it past your cover.
After you clean up the inside, turn the power back on to your unit if you disconnected the power last fall. Make sure your unit is plugged in properly. Then turn the breaker back on at your curcuit box that connects to your ac unit.
Clean Or Replace Your Filter
If you didn’t clean your air conditioning filter last fall before you stopped using the air conditioning system for the year, you may want to clean your filter. You can take it out and use your vacuum cleaner to remove any debris that has built up. You can also run it under some warm water to clean it. Just make sure you allow it adequate time to dry before you reinstall it.
If you don’t want to clean your filter, you can replace it with a new one. Make sure you write the date that you installed the new filter on the side of the filter. This will make it easier to figure out when you should replace your filter again in the future.
Vacuum Out The Vents
Open up the vents to your air conditioning unit, and use your vacuum cleaner to pick up any dirt that has fallen into the vents. This will keep the air you breathe a little cleaner.
Turn On Your AC Unit
Once you have completed all the prep work above, shut all the windows in your house and turn your air conditioning unit. Watch out for these following signs that a repair technician needs to look at your unit:
If you notice any of the above signs, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your local air conditioning services technician to come out and inspect your unit. That way, when it is actually really hot outside, you’ll be cool.
If your air conditioner completely shuts off during the middle of a hot summer day, then you’ll obviously know that there’s something wrong with it. However, there are plenty of more minor indicators that can let you know that there is something wrong with your system. If you notice any of these not-so-obvious signs, then it’s time to have your air conditioning unit looked at by a professional. Then, you can help preserve your unit, prevent further damage, save money on your cooling bills and help ensure that your family stays as comfortable as possible when the temperatures rise.
1. Your Home is Dusty
If you find yourself dusting your home all the time but still can’t seem to keep it clean and dust-free, you might have never thought to blame your air conditioner. However, an overly dusty home can be a sign that your duct work needs to be cleaned or that there is something preventing your air conditioner from conditioning the air that passes through your system. It could even be something as simple as a dirty air filter that needs to be changed. Regardless, you shouldn’t ignore the issue if your home is overly dusty.
2. Your Cooling Bills Seem High
If you felt a shock when you saw your last electric bill, you could be able to blame your air conditioner. Compare your bills to last year’s; if you don’t have them on hand, you can usually get copies from your electric company. If your bills are much higher than usual and you don’t have an explanation, like a new pool that might be using a lot of energy, then it could be related to your air conditioner. If your cooling system isn’t working effectively, it can use a ton of electricity and still not keep your home as comfortable as it should be.
3. Your System Turns Off and On a Lot
If you find that your system turns itself off and on a lot, you might just think that it’s working hard to keep up with the hot outdoor temperatures. However, if your AC turns off and on too often, it can put strain on your unit and can cause your electric bills to rise. A good heating and cooling professional can determine what is causing your unit to cycle off and on so frequently and can help prevent this issue from happening again.
As you can see, there are some not-so-obvious signs that can let you know that there’s something wrong with your air conditioning unit. These are three things that you should look out for; if you notice them, you should call a heating and cooling professional to come out and help you get the bottom of the problem. To find out more, contact a company like Omega Air Conditioning.
Duct cleaning services can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system while preventing dust and debris from clogging airways, clinging to mechanical parts of your air conditioner and furnace, and lowering your indoor air quality. Yet many homeowners don’t know much about duct cleaning, or why they should seek these services. Knowing more about duct cleaning services will help you decide if duct cleaning is right for you and will help you pick the right duct cleaning company for your needs.
How can I tell if my ducts need to be cleaned?
If your ducts need to be cleaned, you can most easily tell by removing the cover over the duct and shining a flashlight into the duct. If your ducts are dirty, you’ll probably see a soft layer of dust covering the interior of the duct like a blanket. Of course, some dirt, debris and mold can be hidden inside your ducts without being seen, so even ducts that appear to be relatively clean can still benefit from duct cleaning services. Other indications that your ducts need to be cleaned include:
If you suspect that your ducts need to be cleaned, contact a duct cleaning service to have your ducts professionally inspected. Duct cleaning services use various technologies, including cameras, that can conduct a more thorough and accurate inspection of your ducts.
How often should I get my ducts cleaned?
There is no recommended schedule for cleaning ducts. Duct cleaning can improve your indoor air quality and can also improve your HVAC system’s overall efficiency. If your system is running inefficiently, your indoor air quality is not up to your standards or if the state of your ducts seem to be causing other problems in your household, then it’s a good time to get your ducts professionally inspected.
What criteria should I use to pick a duct cleaning service?
Beware of companies that offer deals that are too good to be true. Some sources say that duct cleaning services should cost between $300 and $500, but this number can vary somewhat by region, by house size and so on. Companies that offer the lowest prices possible are unlikely to offer the best services. Pick a company that has a good reputation in your community, positive ratings on the BBB website, and is licensed, bonded, and insured.
How long does duct cleaning take?
After the initial consultation, duct cleaning is typically finished in one afternoon. Your duct cleaning company will schedule your appointment and tell you how much time to allow for the entire process.
For more information about duct cleaning, contact a reputable and reliable duct cleaning company in your area.