You Don’t Have To Make The Same Mistakes

About Me

I always took my home’s heating and cooling system for granted. That is until I found myself battling one of the hottest days in years and my air conditioner simply refused to turn on. After contacting my local HVAC contractor, I learned that my cooling coils had frozen over from a lack of maintenance. He did get my AC back up and running that day, but he also helped me to look at my heating and cooling system in a whole new light.

I have spent a lot of time over the last few years learning more about how to properly maintain my HVAC system and ultimately lower my energy costs. Today, I would like to share this knowledge with you so that I can help you to avoid some of the costly mistakes I have made in the past.

Radiator Sludge: How It Forms, Problems It Causes, and How to Remedy It

If your home is heated by a hot water radiator system, you should be aware that there are a few different causes for your radiators to stop heating. Aging radiator heating systems can suffer from a buildup of sludge, causing cold spots on your radiators. Here is information on how sludge occurs, additional problems it can cause your radiator heating system, and how to remedy the problem. Sludge Causes Problems As your home’s radiator heating system ages, the insides of its radiators and pipes can rust, creating iron oxide. When your system is ten years or older, it is likely to have a buildup of iron oxide corrosion. As this rust builds up, it will fall off into the system’s water, combining with dirt in the water to form sludge.  Sludge in your home’s heating radiators will settle to the bottom of the radiators and block the flow of hot water, causing parts of the radiators to remain cold. If the top of your radiator is cold, it most likely has air bubbles trapped inside. Sludge buildup usually cause the middle sections of your radiator to be cold. Sludge buildup can result in your heating bill to increasing your radiator system works harder. You may also increase your energy bill when you turn up your room’s thermostats to try to keep your home warm. Besides causing problems with heating your home, a buildup of sludge in your radiators can also damage your boiler, your heat pump, and the valves in your radiators. To prevent this damage, you will need to remove the sludge from your heating system. How to Remedy Radiator Sludge To clean...

Outdoor AC Unit’s Fan Won’t Come On? Clean The Condenser Coil

If your air conditioner’s fan stops working, you may think that something’s wrong with the evaporator coil or coolant lines inside the home. But sometimes, the outdoor unit’s condenser coil becomes soiled with dirt. These problems can cause the outdoor unit’s fan to shut down. In worse cases, the compressor can stop working. Before you call an air conditioning service technician, learn how a soiled condenser coil affects your air conditioner and how you can clean it. What’s a Condenser Coil? The condenser coil is one of the largest and most important pieces of your air conditioning system. The coil wraps around the outdoor unit and features tiny sharp pieces called fins on the surfaces of it. The fins can trap small particles of dirt over time and block air circulation through the unit. The condenser coil receives all of the heat the home holds from the evaporator coil. The heat travels through refrigerant lines connected to the indoor and outdoor unit. The condenser coil removes the heat from the lines and the outdoor unit. But when the dirt clogs up the fins, the coil can’t release the heat properly. The heat backs up inside the condenser coil, which overloads the fan. The fan is designed to come on whenever the unit becomes too hot or needs to release built-up heat through the condenser coil’s fins. If the fan stops turning, the entire air conditioning system can overheat and shut down. If this happens, the critical parts of the outdoor unit, such as the compressor, burn out. The compressor keeps the cooling system operating at top peak by turning...

3 Questions That Will Help You Determine The Ideal Heat Pump For Your Home

Although you’ve always been able to get through the summer and winter seasons by either changing your attire or keeping a throw blanket on hand, you’re beginning to realize that you need a form of temperature control to keep your home comfortable. However, with rising energy costs for both gas and electricity, you’re looking for a way to heat and cool your home without breaking the bank. For this reason, you’ve decided to install a residential heat pump. To ensure you select a heat pump that’s ideal for your home, ask yourself these three questions: Does Your Local Climate Experience Extreme Temperatures? Since heat pumps typically aren’t as powerful as air conditioners or furnaces, they’re typically used in climates that don’t experience drastic temperature fluctuations between seasons. However, heat pump manufacturers have begun to design heat pump systems that don’t possess this downside. Standard heat pumps transfer heat through the air. If a heat pump is in cooling mode, then it will transfer the hot air inside your home to the cool outdoor air. Similarly, a heat pump in heating mode will transfer heat inside your home. This basic heat pump design is is called an air-source heat pump. Air-source heat pumps are not capable of providing sufficient temperature while indoor or outdoor air is extremely cold or warm. If you experience scorching summer and freezing winter seasons, then a specialized geothermal (or ground-source) heat pump will be the best option for you. Geothermal heat pumps remain efficient even in extreme temperatures since they dissipate or draw in heat from a nearby source of groundwater. Since surface temperatures are...

HVAC Tips For Beginners: Clean Furnace’s Blower Motor And Housing

If you’re worried about the condition of your old electric furnace, now is the time to inspect it before winter arrives. Older model furnaces may break down when you need them the most. You may help avoid this issue by cleaning your furnace’s blower motor. The blower motor is essential for powering and transferring heat through your furnace in the winter. The furnace’s housing may build up with dust and other contaminants over time. Read on to learn how to clean the blower motor and your furnace’s housing. The Blower Motor The motor has a barrel or oblong shape. It also uses multiple, colorful wires to connect to the furnace’s electrical parts. Keep this in mind for later, as you’ll need to remember the exact colors and positions of the wires when you clean or replace the blower motor. If necessary, read over the owner’s manual for your furnace to be sure you disconnect and reconnect the wires correctly. Now, here’s what you do: Disconnect the power source to your furnace by turning off the circuit breaker. If you have one on hand, use a wire tester to see if the furnace is completely off, then proceed to the next step if it’s safe to do so. Remove the covering or paneling over the motor with an electric or manual screwdriver. The motor should be located near the bottom of the furnace and in clear view. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual to disconnect the wiring. Inspect the wires for signs of fraying, burning or other damages. Replace any wires that show these problems right away, or stop and...

4 Problems Caused By A Dirty HVAC Filter

You rely on your home’s air conditioner and furnace to keep your home comfortable throughout the year. The United States Department of Energy reports that by changing your HVAC filter, you can improve the efficiency of your HVAC equipment by 5% to 15%. The frequency you change your HVAC filters can also affect the health of you and your family. So, it is important for you to keep your HVAC system maintained and working well, and you can do this yourself by replacing the air filters as frequently as once a month. Here are some negative effects the condition of your home HVAC air filters can have on your system’s efficiency and your health if you don’t replace or clean your HVAC’s filters. Less Air Flow When you select the HVAC filter you will use in your home, you want to get one that will filter out dust, dirt, and airborne fibers. This will first keep your air conditioner and furnace clean inside. When there is less build-up of dust on your home’s HVAC filter, your HVAC will continue working as it should. When you don’t change out your filter every few months, or get a filter that is too efficient, you will only cause more problems.  A HVAC system with a high efficiency filter installed that has collected dirt and dust over the past month won’t let the air flow through its filter as it should. This makes your furnace and air conditioner unit motor work harder, will cost you more in your utility bill, and won’t heat or cool your home as efficient as you would like. In a...

How To Hide Your Air Conditioner Compressor

If you live in an area that experiences extremely high temperatures during the summer months, then you need to keep your home as cool as possible. Air conditioners can assist you with this, but if you have been using a window unit, then the appliance probably can’t accommodate your needs. A central air conditioning system has the power and efficiency to cool an entire home, and an HVAC contractor from a site like http://rbincorporated.com/ can help you choose the right sized compressor for the size of your residence. The compressor must sit outdoors and it will be installed in an area where it will receive a decent amount of air flow. The compressor may not match the decor of your home though. Thankfully, you can hide it. Keep reading to learn how you can do this without sacrificing the function of your air conditioning system. Add a Fence The air conditioning compressor secured outside your home works by forcing air against coolant coils. The refrigerant in these coils cools the air that passes by and the cooled air is forced into your home with the help of a fan. Air must be drawn into the compressor unit at a regular rate to function properly. Hot air is also released, because the compressor coils and the moving parts in the device create heat that must be dispelled. This helps to reduce overheating concerns, and air must flow around the air conditioner to keep it working well. Your HVAC contractor may inform you to keep barriers and objects away from the compressor to retain good air flow. This means you cannot place a...

3 Common Summertime Issues Faced By Heat Pump Owners

If you’ve recently installed a heat pump, then chances are you’re enjoying the excellent cooling efficiency and energy savings that these systems have to offer. While most heat pumps are designed to operate year-round without any major problems, there may be a few annoyances you’ll run into over the course of ownership. The following describes three of the most common issues heat pump owners face during the summer cooling season: Experiencing A Deep Freeze Contrary to popular belief, your heat pump does not create cooler air. Instead, it uses its refrigerant to absorb the latent heat from the surrounding air and transfer it outdoors. This action also pulls some of the latent moisture out of the air in the form of condensation. It’s no wonder that air conditioners and heat pumps often make for effective dehumidifiers. In the event that the temperature of the refrigerant dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (water’s freezing point), the condensation that normally drips off of the coils can become frozen instead. Ice build-up blocks air from flowing through the rest of the coil, causing more ice to form until the system eventually stops working. Severe heat pump freeze-ups are usually caused by low refrigerant levels. A drop in refrigerant levels causes pressure drops throughout the system, lowering the refrigerant’s temperature below freezing. The loss of refrigerant itself could be caused by a leak somewhere within the lines, compressor or coils. An experienced HVAC technician is best suited to perform the necessary troubleshooting and repairs for this particular problem. Making A Racket Your heat pump is also designed to run as smoothly and silently as...

Algae Growing On Your A/C Coils? Here’s How To Take Care Of It

You expect to see algae growing in ponds, on rocks and in places where moisture is in abundance. But you don’t expect to see algae growing on your air conditioner’s indoor evaporator coil. As it turns out, the environment underneath your A/C’s plenum is just perfect for algae spores to flourish. The last thing you need is for algae buildup to bring your A/C’s performance to a standstill, especially as you gear up to tackle the summer heat. The following is a comprehensive guide for dealing with algae growth. How Algae Growth Damages Your A/C Your air conditioning system’s evaporator coil is just one of several components that are constantly kept in the dark. Not only is it located in a space that receives little to no natural sunlight, but it’s also kept moist due to the condensation that drips from the coil as it extracts and transfers heat. Algae, mold and mildew all happen to thrive in these dark and damp places. Once it eagerly makes itself home, it takes over and makes a mess of your A/C system: Algae growth on the evaporator coils prevents them from transferring latent heat, causing the coils to freeze over and the unit to cease working until they’re unthawed and the coils themselves cleaned. Algae clogs up condensate drain pipes, trapping ever-growing amounts of condensate in the pan until it finally overflows. An algae outbreak also creates a musty odor that emanates throughout the entire HVAC system. Getting rid of algae growth is an important step when it comes to checking and repairing your home’s cooling system before summer arrives. Removing...