The life of your furnace will be extended if you have preventative maintenance performed once or twice a year. This will make sure it is running efficiently and catch small problems before they become large ones be ensuring all elements are in good working order. Throughout the year, regular cleanings are a positive idea. Your HVAC Company may offer discounts and special packages to service your furnace throughout the year at a reasonable price.
When your technician comes out, there are a couple of tasks that should be performed during the tune up. The first is a full overall inspection, with the technician looking over all working parts of the furnace and duct system. The idea is to look for excessive wear and tear. At the same time, proper lubrication should be applied to all operating parts to prevent friction.
If necessary the pilots and gas pressure may need adjusting to return them to the manufacturer recommended specifications. A standard filter replacement should be done (something you should be doing throughout the year). At the end of the service, ask for everything that was done to be written up so you can place it in your records. Ask the technician what can be done to care for your furnace throughout the year and help keep your power bills down. Following these tips will help ensure your family doesn’t have to deal with a cold house this winter!
For a HVAC company to state their technicians are HVAC certified, the technicians have to undergo specific training and then have that knowledge tested through a standardized exam. There are different organizations that perform this testing. NATE (North American Technical Excellence) is the largest one. It is not a legal requirement to be NATE certified, but it validates a technician’s knowledge. This organization began in 1997 with the goal of standardizing skills and testing.
Certifications can be obtained in installation and equipment servicing. If a class is taken in refrigeration, then a technician will achieve the recognition of HVAC-R. Exams can be taken in the areas of A/C, Air distribution, Oil Furnaces, Gas Furnaces, Ground source heat pump installation and Senior efficiency analyst among others.
When a technician can show you he or she has been NATE certified you can feel confident about their skills. There are many online certification courses a HVAC technician can take, but the question is, are they accredited? If they are not accredited, the certification can hold little value.
To make sure you are receiving the best service, insist on doing business with a company that only hires certified technicians, or can show proof of continuing education for their technicians. As a side note, make sure the technicians who perform work on your residence or business are insured, licensed and bonded. If you question the status of a license, you can contact your states professional licensing department to make sure a license is valid and up to date.
Finding a dependable, trusted HVAC technician can be a difficult task. Hiring an individual to install or perform maintenance on your unit is not a decision to be taken lightly without serious thought. When you meet a technician for the first time, trust your gut instinct.
Does he or she appear trustworthy? Did you like them right away? Were you impressed with their level of customer service? A well trained HVAC technician will be able to answer your questions and offer suggestions. They will be trained in troubleshooting, so they can determine the problem and the necessary solution quickly.
If they are a true professional, they will respect your house as if it were their own. They will have pride in their appearance and will be on time for their scheduled appointment. If they a running late, a good technician will call and let you know.
Reliability is important, if someone doesn’t show up for an appointment, will you be able to trust them when they finally show up, to work on your expensive HVAC system? Does the technician work steadily and carefully when at your house or business? Or do they spend time on their phone, therefore not resolving your problem within the expected time frame? When the technician is working, do they appear to be following safety protocol? Or do they seem careless? This is important because you don’t want a walking, working liability in your house. Last of all, a sign of a good technician is them leaving their work space as they found it, clean and tidy!
An average lifespan of an HVAC system is normally around the 10 to 15 year mark. When it comes time for you to buy a new system, you will need to think of how to dispose of your old one. Many times, the installers of your new system will take the old one off your hands. This is a question you should ask while making your new purchase.
However, if this is not a service they offer, then disposal will become your issue. Disposal is not as easy as one may think, depending on where you live, there can be state or federal regulations on how to discard of an HVAC unit. Your local sanitation department will be able to instruct you on what to do. In fact, they may be able to recommend a recycling company that will voluntarily pick up your unit and take it to a drop off location.
Environmentally minded companies offer this service because they want to ensure that items are disposed of through environmentally friendly means. If you choose to dispose of the unit yourself, remember there are parts that a certified technician should do, such as extracting coolant before disposal so that it can be transported to a designated waste site.
After this, choose your drop off site as recommended by your sanitation department, detach hazardous components, load the unit up and drop it off! If your unit still has some life in it, and you are only getting rid of it because you wanted an upgrade, not needed one, enquire about donating it to shelters or other charity’s. There may be a place or person who could use what you no longer want.
Is climate change real? Some people believe in it and others do not. Regardless of personal belief, there is a general consensus that weather patterns change over time and summers and winters can get warmer depending on what weather cycle we are experiencing. When this happens there is obviously an increase in AC use and a decrease in the use of artificial heat. In fact, in 2011 there was a 7.5 percent increase in air conditioning unit sales to keep up with a higher demand for AC units.
This affects the distribution, sales, production and manufacturing of AC units. In America, households that have AC units have increased from 64 million to 100 million between 1993 and 2009. Is this due to people having more disposable income for an item that was once considered a luxury? Or is it a direct result of climate change? The general consensus is for a home or office space to be considered comfortable and allow for optimum human productivity, the temperature needs to be set at 72 degrees farenheight.
Attempting to keep this temperature maintained in warmer climates leads to more AC use, thus, more sales and more money being generated within the sales aspect of AC units. If air conditioners are going to be used more to combat the heat especially in country’s that did not use them as much previously, we may find new designs being produced and more economical models to fit all households and businesses.
Fall is upon us and it is never too early to think about problems your furnace and heater may encounter. After a long summer and not being used, your furnace may need a maintenance check. A routine inspection may be in order to help your heating system run efficiently and catch small problems before they become large ones. If you find your furnace isn’t heating well, or is cycling between the on and off modes, check and change out the filter.
A dirty filter has the potential to cause damage to the limit switch which in turn controls the fan. This leads to wear and tear which results in airflow problems, overheating or heat control related issues. A common problem in a heater or furnace is a faulty pilot light or ignition. If your appliance is clogged it can show itself in an unlit pilot light.
Another hotspot is a faulty thermostat. However, a common problem that makes a furnace not heat at all is the thermostat setting! It seems like an obvious place to start and check, but you would be surprised how many people overlook this simple hint. The next place to check is your breaker box and make sure it isn’t flipped! If your furnace is struggling to keep your house or office warm, it may be too small to adequately produce enough heat.
You can easily check your thermostat (and even change its battery) and filter yourself, but there are some jobs that are better left to the professionals. If you hear abnormal noises, rattles and rumbling it could be a mechanical issue or clogged burner. A continuously running blower could mean a bad limit switch which normally a professional has to replace. If you try to fix a problem that is out of your expertise, you may unintentionally void your warranty if you have one. Last of all, always use caution when dealing with propane or natural gas
A/C systems normally last around 10 to 20 years, so at some point during your home ownership you will be faced with the task of buying a new system. Buying a new HVAC system is one of the largest purchases a homeowner can make, not just cost wise, but comfort wise. Making sure your living area is comfortable temperature wise is crucial for the wellbeing and productivity of your family.
When looking to buy an AC think about who you will use to install in. Research some contractors and read their online reviews. Speak to a couple, ask questions and get cost estimates and quotes, not just for the system but also for installation. Choose a company you are comfortable with and trust, because more than likely you will use the same company for continued maintenance and perhaps even buy a maintenance and warranty plan from them. It is recommended you have your AC maintained and inspected at least once a year.
Therefore, choose a company you see yourself working with for years to come. Have your chosen installer give you advice on the right size unit for your house. If a system is too big, it will waste energy as it cycles on and off. If a system is too small, it won’t cool your house efficiently and will struggle to keep up.
Normally, a contractor will come to your house and perform a load calculation to determine the right size taking into account square footage and insulation. Use this as an opportunity to ask about the SEER rating of units you are considering, you want to make sure your unit is energy-efficient.
Spring is here, so summer is right around the corner. This means long days and short nights, and the opportunity to enjoy outside activities. However, it can also mean hot days and restless nights if your HVAC system isn’t ready for summer. So, here are some summer HVAC tips to ensure comfort for your family and employees.
Think about getting a technician out to inspect your HVAC system. Catching a small problem before it turns into a large one can save you money. A technician will be able to perform a tune up to get your AC system in tip top shape for the summer before the extreme heat settles in. The tech may perform tasks such as clearing and cleaning drains, cleaning fan blades and coils. All of this will allow your unit to cool more efficiently.
Some basic tasks you can perform yourself involve cleaning or changing your air filter. This is probably the number one tune up you can do to increase the longevity of your system and lower its energy consumption. Filters can be picked up from all hardware stores and are relatively inexpensive. During the summer months, it is recommended you change your filter at least once a month.
Go outside and clear the area around your outdoor unit. Make sure all plants and grass are at least a foot away from the unit, rake the leaves and check for any other type of debris. You want to ensure the unit is able to pull in air freely.
To prevent large summer power bills, you may consider installing a programmable thermostat. This will allow you to have more control over your ambient temperature and you can even control some thermostats via your smartphone. Every time you set the thermostat up by 1 degree, you save 1% on your power bill!
If you have an old HVAC system, you may consider buying a new energy efficient system. It can be a large cost upfront, but could potentially save you money over the next couple of years. An old system can be an energy drainer.