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.
Managing the humidity in your home with a central air conditioner can be important for both health and comfort. Most central air solutions do not have additional humidity features, and an air conditioner in a home that does have too much humidity can become dangerous. Simply turning up the air conditioner isn’t usually a solution, and even just getting a dehumidifier may not be enough to change the humidity of the entire home.
Get a Central Humidifier/Dehumidifier Solution Installed
Ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 dollars, there are humidifiers and dehumidifiers that can be directly installed within your central air conditioning system. This has a very clear benefit: it will be one contained system and it will react automatically to adjust your environment to your preferences. Humidity controls are usually less expensive if they are added with the initial central air installation.
Keep the Air Circulating Within Your Home
Make sure that you have your home’s fans on to circulate the air in your home. Air that is sitting is often air that will maintain a higher level of humidity. Additionally, circulating the air with ceiling fans and standing fans will also ensure that your central air system works more effectively.
Improve Your Property’s Insulation
Insulating both doors and windows can help significantly if the humidity may be entering your home from outside. You may also want to pay attention to the insulation between your home and your attic, as this can be broken or degraded by pests such as insects and rodents. Keeping your doors and windows closed may be advisable during periods of more significant humidity.
Keep Laundry Rooms and Bathrooms Contained
Both laundry rooms and bathrooms can adversely affect the central air system. Laundry rooms, especially those that don’t vent outside, will build both heat and humidity — as will bathrooms, following a hot shower or bath. It’s often best to keep the doors and central air vents closed and to air out these rooms through the use of a window or an exterior door, until both temperature and humidity has normalized.
In humid areas, air conditioners of all types can breed mold and bacteria, so they do need to be cleaned out on a regular basis. You should consult with your local HVAC contracting company like W.F. Hann & Sons to find out more about how to properly clean and maintain your air conditioning system. Humidity isn’t just an issue of comfort. High humidity can also lead to physical illness, such as lung issues.
If you’re noticing a stale or musty odor when your air conditioner is running, it’s likely a humidity problem. Some of the most common causes of humidity problems for air conditioners involve skipping regular maintenance.
Not Replacing Filters
The Problem: If the filters in your air conditioner aren’t regularly replaced, they can become clogged with dust. As moisture in the air makes this dust damp, it can become a haven for mildew or mold. This mold or mildew can even spread throughout the interior of the air conditioner, so the sooner you catch the problem, the better.
The Fix: If you have a musty smell coming from your air conditioner, pull out the air filter and see what condition it’s in. If it looks dirty, replace it with a new one. This may clear up the problem completely. However, if you replace the air filter and the smell continues, you may need to disassemble the conditioner completely and clean the interior. If you aren’t sure how to clean the interior, you may need to talk to a professional, like Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc. to get some help.
Skipping Regular Checkups
The Problem: The air conditioner as a whole is a complicated machine, so it’s important to have a professional take a look at it regularly. Having your air conditioner checked annually means catching problems like dirty condensation coils, clogged drains, or leaky lines. All of these can lead to a buildup of humidity within the air conditioner, potentially leading to mold and mildew.
The Fix: You can use your air conditioner’s manual to disassemble it and check the interior for obvious signs of mildew or mold, which can be cleaned away with bleach and water. However, you should still have a technician give your air conditioner a complete check-up to pinpoint any problems in the unit’s interior. In addition to a technician’s expertise, air conditioners use refrigerants to cool the air, and these refrigerants are environmental hazards that should only be handled by trained professionals.
Using an Air Conditioner That’s Too Powerful
The Problem: Air conditioners both cool and dehumidify the air in your home, but dehumidifying takes time. An air conditioner that’s the right size will simultaneously cool the air and dehumidify it. An air conditioner that’s too powerful – designed for a larger space than it’s installed in – will actually cool the air too quickly.
The Fix: Choosing the right size air conditioner depends on many factors – the size of the area to be cooled, the climate you live in, your home’s insulation, and even how many people are living in the house. A certified contractor will be able to do a load calculation for your home. If it turns out that your air conditioner is not the right size, you will need to have it replaced with a new unit.
Dealing with air conditioning problems in the home can leave you hot and frustrated. The last thing you ever want to do is go into the muggy summer months with an air conditioner that is either not working or working shoddily. To avoid having your air conditioner fail you, you’ll need to keep up with some practical tips that will allow your system to always work the way that it should. Consider these tips so that you can maintain your air conditioner, along with your comfort.
#1: Look Into Your Fuses And Circuit Breaker
Sometimes when your air conditioner is flat out not working, the problem is more simple than you would think. If this happens, the first place you should look is the electrical control panel. A blown fuse or tripped circuit is one of the main causes of your air conditioner system shutting down. If you notice this, the fix is as simple as flipping your circuit back in place, or purchasing a replacement fuse. Checking into this first can allow you to save some money on having to call in an air conditioning repair professional.
#2: Change Out Your Air Conditioning Filters
Your air conditioning filters work hard every day to block debris from entering your airways, and must be changed so that they can keep performing well. The best timetable to keep is to make sure that your air conditioning filters are swapped once per month. Not only will changing your air filter prevent your air conditioner from breaking down on you, it can also help you to decrease the energy consumption in your home between 5 and 15 percent. That will allow you to save plenty of money on your utility bills and make your home a lot less wasteful on a regular basis.
#3: Call In An Air Conditioning Repair Contractor For Routine Inspection And Maintenance
Before you allow your system to break down on you, call in an air conditioning contractor who can look out for you. If they provide you with preventative maintenance, you won’t have to worry about missing any glaring issues. Your contractor will be able to inspect the system and fix things as they are needed, so that you get the best performance possible out of your HVAC system throughout the years.
Take advantage of these pieces of advice so that you are able to keep your air conditioner in the best condition possible. For more information, contact a company like McCrea Heating & Plumbing Inc.