Month: September 2019

Growth of geothermal heat pump market

Sales of energy-efficient heat pumps for homes and businesses continue to rise as consumers seek out HVAC equipment that cost less to operate and has a minimal environmental impact. Most heat pumps transfer heat between the outside air and the building interior. As outside air temperatures drop in the winter, the atmosphere holds less heat that can be used to heat the inside of the building. Therefore, the lack of heat energy in the atmosphere during the winter makes air-to-air heat pumps ineffective in the coldest parts of the country. However, ground-source heat pumps (GSHP’s), also called geothermal heat pumps, are systems that do not depend on the air temperature for heat transfer.

Instead of moving heat to and from the atmosphere like a conventional air-to-air heat pump, GSHPs move heat to and from the ground through a series of buried pipes. The ground is a consistent temperature throughout the year and provides the perfect place to exchange building heat. GSHPs use 25% to 50% less electricity than conventional heating or cooling systems and compared to air-to-air heat pumps, they are quieter, last longer, and need less maintenance. Although only 1.7 percent of the heat pump market, GSHP sales rose 37 percent from 2017 to 2018 spurred by the industry shift towards high-efficiency HVAC systems.

Homeowners and commercial building owners with GSHP’s see an immediate utility bill savings compared to other HVAC systems. “We’ve had excellent feedback with our ground-source customers,” said Brian Houchin, vice president/general manager of Bratcher Heating and Air Conditioning in Peoria, Illinois. “They’ve all seen energy savings, thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars a year,” he said. “I go back to some of my first customers, and they’ve saved $40,000. They’ve paid for their system twice over.”

To keep HVAC equipment running efficiently and energy bills low, GSHPs, like every piece of HVAC equipment, require routine maintenance. Contracting Business’ article “10 Steps to Servicing a Geothermal [GSHP] Heat Pump” provides guidance on cleaning the GSHP evaporator coil as part of a preventative maintenance program. “The coil should be inspected for dirt during every start-up or service check. If the coil is dirty, it should be cleaned using a nonacidic coil cleaner and then thoroughly rinsed.”

The location of the GSHP unit above a ceiling or when mounted on a high equipment platform makes accessing the coil for cleaning very difficult. Also, servicing GSHPs in occupied buildings means chemical smells and cleaning water should be contained so as not to disturb occupants or leak and cause property damage. Maintenance technicians should select cleaning equipment that allows them to clean the coils regardless of how challenging access is.

Goodway Technologies offers several different styles of coil cleaning systems to match the conditions of the building. For servicing multiple, small GSHPs, particularly above high ceilings, the battery-powered Backpack CoilPro® Coil Cleaner is the best choice. The cleaner easily fits on the technician’s back and gives them complete freedom to move around to get to hard to reach locations. The Backpack CoilPro® weighs only fifty pounds when loaded and is equipped with a ten-foot self-coiling hose and eighteen-inch wand. The long wand gives extra length to access coils mounted deeper inside of the GSHP cabinet. The Backpack CoilPro® comes with a five-gallon water tank and three-gallon chemical tank so multiple pieces of equipment can be serviced without coming down from the ladder or locating a water source to refill the machine.

For jobs where the equipment is easier to reach, the wheel-mounted CoilPro® CC-201T, Coil Cleaner with CoilShine-T is fabricated with an eight-gallon tank allowing service techs to move the unit between GSHP’s with minimal effort. The CC-201T uses CoilShine®-T tablets dissolved into the water tank instead of the liquid CoilShine® used in the Backpack CoilPro®. This method prevents carrying the CoilShine® liquid container with you as you move around the building. You only take the tablets you need to mix for the immediate cleaning job. The CC-201T has a twenty-five-foot hose so the machine can be placed in a central location on the roof or in the mechanical room to access multiple GSHP’s. For larger and dirtier GSHP coils, the CC-201T’s variable water pressure (130-200psi) and flow (0.5 to 0.9 GPM) clean even the most neglected coils.

The market for GSHPs is on the rise and HVAC technicians should be familiar with the maintenance procedures to keep these cutting-edge systems at peak efficiency. Preventative maintenance requires regular cleaning of the evaporator coil with tools and chemicals that remove buildup and debris that hinder performance. Goodway’s line of coil cleaning systems and cleaning products can be an integral piece of your team’s arsenal to keep GSHPs clean and efficient.

This post appeared first on Goodway.com

Are You Ready to Kiss Your AC Goodbye?

blue-question-markWe totally get it — letting go of something you love is never easy! But here’s the thing: sometimes saying goodbye is for the better, especially when it comes to operating an older, outdated air conditioner!

There are plenty of signs that suggest the time has come to replace your air conditioner, and below, we’ve listed a number of them for you. All you’ve got to do is keep reading to find out more (and don’t be afraid to grab some tissues — we know how emotional this can be!)

So, Is it Time to Let Go?

There are a number of signs that suggest it’s time to let go of your air conditioner:

It’s Old

Although your AC was built to last, the average lifespan of an air conditioner is anywhere between 10 and 15 years. It’s simple: old, outdated air conditioners are not going to be as efficient as newer models. Therefore, if your AC has aged beyond this average life expectancy, it might do you well to consider a replacement.

It Requires Frequent Repair

Your AC should not require more than just one or two repairs every few years. If yours requires any more than that, it is likely that it needs to be replaced. As a rule of thumb, if you are spending 50% or more of the cost of a new system on repairs, it’s better to just bite the bullet and invest in a replacement.

It No Longer Keeps You Cool

The primary role of your air conditioner is to keep you and your family cool and comfortable when temperatures outside aren’t quite so cool. So, if your AC is no longer able to keep up with your cooling demands, it might be best to consider a replacement.

It’s Costing You More Money

If you find that you are paying more and more to keep your home cool, it could be that it’s time to replace your air conditioner. High utility bills are a sign that your AC is no longer efficient. Trust us: investing in a new AC might just be the best way to cut back on monthly spending.

You Need a Professional Opinion

If you feel the time has come to replace your air conditioner, be sure to call your favorite HVAC contractor in Miami. Only a certified HVAC professional can tell if you if your best option is to replace your older or outdated air conditioner.

And yes, there may be plenty of amateurs willing to provide these services for you, but remember, sometimes an attempt to save money could end up costing you much more in the long run. It is always better to call in a professional and get the job done right the first time around. Trust us, when it comes to your comfort and your budget, you don’t want to take any risks!

To schedule your air conditioning services, contact the team at Air On Demand. Trust Agent Green to Keep You Comfortable! 

 

This post appeared first on AironDemand.com

Save Energy and Money on AC Bills This Summer

Air Conditioning Summer Tips

They say that time is money, but sometimes it’s the things that fill the time – such as your air conditioner running – that cost you money. You can’t live without your AC in the summer in Phoenix, but you might be able to make running it a little more cost-effective with these tips.

  • Use a programmable thermostat. Probably the number one recommended tip for saving energy and reducing cost is to install (and use!) a programmable thermostat. This allows you to set higher temperatures depending on the time of day: higher during the day when you’re at work, for example, then lower at night when you’re at home
  • Tinker with your temperatures. Don’t keep your house at 68 or 70 degrees, day in and day out, just because that’s the standard or expected temperature. The high 70s or even 80 degrees will feel plenty cool enough if it’s 100 degrees outside. When you’re away, you can even set the thermostat as high as 85 degrees.
  • Take advantage of the “auto” setting. Your thermostat should have “auto” as well as an “on” setting. Using this setting means that your fan only runs when your air conditioning is cooling, and can save you between $15 and $25 a month on energy costs.
  • Make sure all your vents are open. Your air conditioning system was designed the way it was for a reason. Usually, an AC system has a certain number of vents so that it can “breathe” properly. Shutting even just a few vents throws off that balance.
  • Plan for heat or moisture-producing tasks. If you know you have to do a chore that produces a lot of heat or moisture, such as doing laundry, running the dishwasher, or cooking, try to do it during the cooler parts of the day, such as early in the morning or late at night. Doing these tasks during the hottest part of the day makes your air conditioner work harder to keep the place cool.
  • Use your ceiling fans. Ceiling fans can make you feel like it is cooler in the house than it actually is. Just set them to blow air downward, creating a cooling draft that will feel good on your skin.
  • Make sure your air conditioning unit is the right size. To function optimally, air conditioning units should be the right size for the space they are cooling. Too small a unit, and it’ll have to run constantly to try to keep up; too big, and it’ll use more energy than is needed to cool your home.
  • Do your DIY maintenance. Replacing the filters regularly will keep your AC unit running at peak performance by ensuring that there isn’t anything obstructing the airflow. Likewise, making sure that the outdoor components are clear of debris will keep your system running at top efficiency.
  • Have your system maintained regularly. Just like with cars, home AC systems need to be checked out regularly by professionals like those at Howard Air. This will ensure that your system is working correctly and efficiently, and enables us to catch any problems before they balloon into high energy bills.

Howard Air

When trying to get the most out of your AC system, the first rule of thumb is to work with your air conditioner instead of against it. If you can plan some of your daily habits with this notion in mind, you can save yourself a lot of money. To ensure your unit is operating at peak efficiency, or to schedule an AC tune-up, contact us at Howard Air for high-quality, professional AC service.

 

This post appeared first on Howardair.com

The Most Common Heat Pump Problems & How to Avoid Them

Like all appliances, your heat pump may sometimes have trouble working correctly. Maybe it won’t turn on, or it no longer heats up appropriately. Alternatively, maybe your heat pump doesn’t cool down after use, or it runs constantly. With that in mind, below are some of the most common heat pump problems, as well as possible explanations and fixes for these issues. 

Read over these common issues to see what you can do to get your heat pump running smoothly. However, if you need help, remember that it’s always a good idea to contact a local heat pump professional for service and maintenance assistance if needed.

The 4 most common heat pump problems

Heat pump not turning on

If your heat pump won’t turn on at all, it’s likely caused by one of four major problems:

  • Thermostat problems: First of all, check to see if your programmable thermostat is set to have the heat come on at the right time. If everything seems correct, the problem might be a miscalibration that’s causing your thermostat to read the temperature incorrectly or an electrical problem that’s stopping the thermostat from communicating with the heat pump. In either case, you’ll need to have the thermostat serviced by a professional.
  • Power loss: Sometimes, a tripped breaker is the root source of the issue. Check to make sure your breakers are all in the correct position. However, if this happens on an ongoing basis, it’s likely a sign of an electrical failure with the heat pump, which you should have professionally serviced.
  • Broken starter capacitor: Take a moment to listen to your heat pump. If you can hear a faint clicking noise that occurs as the heat pump is supposed to be turning on, your problem is likely with the starter capacitor. This component is responsible for transmitting the electrical charge that turns on the motors. You’ll need to bring a technician out to replace it.
  • Broken reversing valve: As the name suggests, the reversing valve allows the heat pump to work as both a heater and an air conditioner by reversing the direction of the refrigerant. If the heat pump turns on when you want cool air, but not for heat, this is likely the cause. It will also need to be replaced by a technician.

Heat pump not heating

If your heat pump is not blowing hot air, there are typically three main causes: 

  • Unit is blocked: Your heat pump pulls heat from the air outside into your home. If the airflow to your unit is blocked by snow, ice, leaves or another type of debris, this can make it hard for the heat pump to do its job. Luckily, the solution is simple. Clean off your heat pump and clear away any debris that may be blocking the way.
  • Air filter is dirty: Air filters are put in place to catch dirt and debris, but when too much builds up, it can block airflow to the compressor, the part of the unit that actually heats the air. This solution is simple, too. Check your filter and change it out for a new one if it’s dirty.
  • Refrigerant charge is low: If your refrigerant levels are too low, likely from a leak, your heat pump will struggle to bring enough heat indoors to heat your home. Have a professional come out to check if the levels are too low or your system needs to be recharged.

Heat pump not cooling

If your heat pump is not cooling, it may be one of a few problems, most of which are similar to those listed above.

  • Thermostat problems: First check to see that your thermostat is set to cool. If it is, there may be a problem with the thermostat that’s causing it to read the temperature incorrectly or an electrical problem that’s stopping the thermostat from communicating with the heat pump. In either case, you’ll need to bring in a professional.
  • Broken reversing valve: If your heat pump is running, but the air coming out of your vents is hot, it’s likely a problem with your reversing valve. Again, this is the part of the heat pump that reverses the refrigerant and allows it to act as both a heater and an air conditioner. If this component is broken, it will need to be replaced by a technician.
  • The components are dirty: If the air coming out of your vents is lukewarm, that’s a good sign that your components are dirty. Go outside and clean off the heat pump so it’s free of any debris and check the air filter to see if it needs to be changed. 
  •  Refrigerant charge is low: Again, if your refrigerant levels are too low or if there is a leak, your heat pump will struggle to cool your home. Have a technician come out to check your levels and fix any leaks

Heat pump running constantly

If your heat pump is constantly running, there are likely three main causes:

  • Unusually cold weather: Heat pumps are designed to work much more gradually than a furnace. It’s possible that, if the weather is especially cold, your heat pump could run near-constantly without there being an issue.
  • Thermostat problems: Again, check to make sure your thermostat is set correctly. If it is, it could be a miscalibration issue that’s causing the thermostat to read the temperature incorrectly or a wiring issue that signals an electrical problem. In either case, you’ll want to call in a professional to fix the issue.
  • Broken compressor contractor: The compressor contactor controls how much power goes to your heat pump. If that’s damaged, it’s possible your heat pump could run all the time. You’ll need a professional to replace the part.

Frequently asked questions


What problems should you expect with a heat pump that’s been left unused?

A heat pump that’s left unused could experience any of the problems listed above, but it’s particularly susceptible to problems caused by debris and refrigerant leaks.  


What problems affect a heat pump’s air handler?

If your system’s fan is running, but only cold air is coming out, it may be a problem with your air handler. If you’re hearing rattling noises from your system, it may also be the air handler.


How do I diagnose heat pump problems?

You can diagnose problems using some of the DIY fixes above, or by comparing heat pump reviews for your specific model. The best way to diagnose and treat any problems is to call in a local heat pump professional. 

This post appeared first on HVAC.com

When Should I Switch My Thermostat From “Cool” To “Heat” Setting?

The recommended thermostat settings during months of extreme temperatures are obvious. If it’s snowing outside, it’s a no brainer that your furnace should be running and in the middle of summer, you wouldn’t dream of turning off your air conditioner.

The more difficult question is “what should my thermostat be set to in the fall?” When the leaves start to change color and pumpkin patches start popping up on every corner, you might want to start considering whether it’s time to change your thermostat from “cool” to “heat.” However, knowing exactly when to make the switch can be tricky for homeowners experiencing frequent temperature fluctuations.

How To Avoid Continuously Adjusting Your Thermostat During Fall

Just when you light your cinnamon apple scented candles and pull out your rake to do some fall exterior maintenance on your home, the temperatures spike again. Autumn weather can be unpredictable as we transition from summer to the winter season. With these constant fluctuations, how do you avoid running back and forth to adjust your thermostat — or worse, switching back and forth between your air conditioning and heating systems?

The best way to combat fall’s temperature fluctuations in your home is through the installation of a programmable thermostat. Although it varies from year to year, mid- to late October is usually the average time of year when homeowners start switching their thermostats from their summer cooling setting to the heat. However, with a programmable thermostat, you don’t have to worry about making this switch manually.

The Best Temperature To Set Your Thermostat In Fall

The best temperature to set your thermostat in fall is between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This prime temperature setting ensures that your HVAC system isn’t working harder than necessary while keeping your family toasty.

When the exterior temperature drops below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, the indoor temperature of your home can become uncomfortable and you’ll no longer need your air conditioner running. However, experiencing a 30-degree difference between the high and low is not unheard of for an average autumn day. You’ll need a programmable thermostat that automatically switches between heat and cool, otherwise, you’ll be switching back and forth throughout the autumn season.

A Honeywell Thermostat Can Switch From Cool To Heat

If you’re worried about what should my thermostat be set to in the fall, then you might want to consider installing a programmable thermostat to increase your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. A programmable thermostat can be easily installed by a licensed HVAC technician and will automatically switch your HVAC system between heating and cooling as needed to meet the temperatures on the schedule you’ve manually set.

To begin, set your baseline temperature to whatever your preferred level of comfort is, then set it to automatically back off that temperature setting by a few degrees during the hours of the day you’re not home. At night you can also allow it to get a little cooler as well and then set it to reach that ideal baseline near the hours that you normally wake up in the morning.

A Honeywell thermostat can switch from cool to heat to combat the temperature fluctuations taking place outside. This ensures that your home will always feel comfortable, with you having to readjust constantly. You can reduce your home’s energy consumption by 10% each year by leveraging a programmable thermostat.

Special Offer: Only $199 for a Honeywell Digital Programmable Wifi Thermostat

Before Switching Your Thermostat From Cooling To Heating Get A Heating Inspection

With the fall season upon on us, it’s important to get your HVAC system serviced before it gets too cold. During months of heavy use, your system experiences a lot of wear and tear. A trained HVAC technician should look at your system to lubricate the components, inspect carbon monoxide levels, ensure the ignitor is functioning properly, and more.

Before winter arrives in full force, schedule a heating inspection to increase your comfort during the colder months and the longevity of your HVAC system. If the temperature drops below freezing, the last thing you’ll want is your furnace not blowing hot air! An inspection can catch minor issues before they turn into expensive repairs that affect your system’s ability to achieve the recommended thermostat settings.

John C. Flood Can Set Your Home To The Perfect Temperature

The worst part of cold seasonal temperatures is waking up in the morning and dreading leaving your warm bed. Without a programmable thermostat, you won’t be able to automatically wake up to the best temperature to set the thermostat to in fall.

Trust the team at John C. Flood to put your home’s comfort first. When its time to switch your thermostat from “cool” to “heat,” our trained experts can inspect every aspect of your heating system to ensure it’s functioning at maximum efficiency. We’ve been in business for over 115 years, so we’ve seen it all.

Choose John C. Flood to install a Honeywell thermostat that switches from cool to heat. Otherwise, join our Service Partner Program to receive routine heating maintenance. We do it all, so call (703) 752-1266 or contact us online with any questions today!

The post When Should I Switch My Thermostat From "Cool" To "Heat" Setting? appeared first on John C. Flood.

Repair or Replace An Air Conditioner? The Right Way to Decide

HVAC tech inspecting HVAC unit to help decide if property owner should repair or replace their air conditioner

Why repair or replace an air conditioner this fall?

If you’ve got an aging air conditioner, you may be breathing a sigh of relief when Labor Day rolls around. You made it through another summer with the old unit! But don’t talk too soon. You could still experience a breakdown during a brutal week of Indian summer. Then you’ll need to decide whether to repair or replace the air conditioner.

The truth is, fall is a great time to take control of your air conditioning issues and repair or replace your air conditioner. If you do decide on AC replacement, you’ll have more time to shop around since there’s less pressure to make a quick decision. You’ll also have the opportunity to get a great price on units in stock. (That’s because your vendor wants to make room for winter equipment and next year’s new models). If you decide on AC repair, the best HVAC service experts are less booked up than in the summer.

Repair or replace the air conditioner: why it’s a tricky decision

So, how do you go about making that decision to repair or replace the air conditioner? How can you tell when a piece of equipment has outlived its useful life? Can you get your older unit to last another couple of years by fixing it? Or will you have to continue putting money into it? Newer, more energy efficient units can lower your electric bill, but what about the upfront cost?

The unfortunate truth is, there is no cut and dried answer. But here’s how you can make the best decision to repair or replace your air conditioner. Keep reading to learn what factors to consider about your equipment and its history, and whom to trust for advice.

How to get advice you can trust about air conditioning repair or replacement

It’s no secret that some service providers will try to sell you a new system when your old one just needs a simple repair. (You’ve probably seen the YouTube videos and TV news stories exposing fraudulent service providers!). Other providers that make their money on repeat service calls may encourage you to keep fixing a unit that’s become a money pit. So whose advice can you trust to help you decide whether to repair or replace the air conditioner? Here are two tips for weeding out vendors who might steer you wrong.

DON’T DECIDE ON THE SPOT. Be wary of any service provider that insists you need to rush into a decision to purchase new equipment. Be even more wary if they have not offered an adequate explanation about what’s wrong – or one you can’t understand. You should never decide to purchase expensive equipment on the spot. Under pressure, it’s easy to make the wrong choice and spend more money than you need to. It’s your right to take the time you need to decide whether to repair or replace the air conditioner.

ASK AN UNBIASED SERVICE PROVIDER. Look for an HVAC company that does both new equipment installations and repair service. That way, you can be sure they have no vested interest in advising you to repair or replace the air conditioner. The advice you get will be based on what makes the most sense for your situation, not what’s in the best interest of the vendor.

Related article: Broken Air Conditioning? 3 Steps to Avoid Being Taken to the Cleaners.

5 facts that help you make a good decision

Even with the best advice, you need to understand the facts of the situation. Then you can make the most informed decision to repair or replace the air conditioner. Here’s what to consider:

WHAT’S BROKEN?

Some problems, even though they may seem serious, are actually easy and relatively inexpensive to fix. Electrical issues often fall into this category. And if your system is making so much noise that you’re afraid it’s about to die, the news may not be as bad as you think. You may just need some maintenance or redesign work.

Related article: Air Conditioning Problems: Repair or Redesign a Noisy AC Unit?.

However, if the compressor has failed, especially on an older unit, it’s often time to replace. The compressor is the heart of the system, and the investment to fix it may not be worth the cost. Also, many times compressor failure is caused by a secondary issue that won’t be discovered until after you replace the compressor.

Other issues, such as refrigerant leaks, can go either way. One small leak might be an easy fix. But finding the source of multiple leaks on an older system with a lot of corrosion on the coils can be time consuming and expensive. And ineffective, since more leaks will continue to develop. In this case, replacement is likely to be the wiser option.

SYSTEM AGE

Most light commercial air conditioning units are designed to last about 15 to 20 years under optimal conditions. However, if you have a rooftop or other outdoor unit in a large city like New York, you don’t have optimal conditions. If your outdoor air conditioner has been exposed to harsh pollution for more than 10 years, it may not be worth making a large investment in repairs at this point.

CONDITION AND MAINTENANCE HISTORY

How the equipment has been cared for has a major impact on the lifespan of an air conditioning unit. Has it been regularly serviced and cleaned according to the manufacturer’s recommendations? If so, then most parts may be in good shape even if the system is more than 10 years old. Your unit is less likely to keep failing.

Related article: Air Conditioning Maintenance Doesn’t Cost. It Pays.

RECENT PERFORMANCE

Has this unit been running reliably until now? If the parts are in good shape, there’s a good chance it’s worth fixing. On the other hand, if it’s had a history of breakdowns and poor performance, you’re likely to keep experiencing problems.

Here’s another tip. If the occupancy and usage of your space have changed, your system’s capacity and ventilation design may no longer be adequate. If you fix your old unit you can still be left with temperature variances and even air quality problems. If you are experiencing hot and cold spots, humidity issues, odors, and even reports of “sick building” symptoms from occupants, HVAC replacement is probably the way to go. Your contractor can then evaluate the usage, capacity and location of your unit and ventilation equipment, increasing the comfort levels in your space.

HOW MUCH CAN YOU SAVE ON ENERGY BILLS WITH A NEW UNIT?

HVAC sales literature promises that an efficient new air conditioner will save you money by reducing your electric bill. You might wonder if the savings is worth the cost of a new air conditioner replacement. The truth is, the cash you save each month can be substantial and can add up very quickly. Especially if you have an air conditioner that’s more than 10 years old. To figure out how much you could save with a new, energy efficient system, check out this online resource: HVAC OPCost

Here’s a free resource we’ve developed to help you decide whether to repair or replace an air conditioner. To learn even more about what kinds of issues and situations warrant replacement and which may call for repair, get a copy of our helpful guide to Repair or Replace? A guide to making an informed choice when your HVAC system is down.

 

Repair-vs-Replace CTA

 

The post Repair or Replace An Air Conditioner? The Right Way to Decide appeared first on Arista.

The Major Consequences of Not Changing Your Air Filter

If you are like most people, you aren’t thinking about your HVAC system until it stops functioning the way it should. Do you know one of the biggest sources of a system complication or failure? Clogged air filters. Read on to learn more about how air filters function in your HVAC system and what can happen when they aren’t changed on a regular schedule.

How Do Air Filters Work?

Air filters are generally made of spun fiberglass or pleated paper and surrounded by a cardboard frame. They are inserted into a specific place in the HVAC systems and act as a barrier to prevent contaminants and other particles from circulating in the air, or from reaching sensitive parts of the system. Some of the common things that filters block are dust, pollen, lint, mold, hair, animal fur, bacteria, and more. 

How Often Should Filters Be Changed?

Depending on the type of air filter you are using, you will need to follow different schedules to ensure that the filter is always functioning for optimal performance. Most manufacturers recommend that basic filters are changed every 30 to 60 days, but there are other circumstances that could affect that schedule. 

  • A filter in a regular home with no pets should be changed every 90 days 
  • If your home has a single pet, the filter should be changed every 60 days 
  • For multiple pets, or if anyone in your home suffers from allergies, you’ll want to change the filter anywhere between 20 to 45 days
  • People in single-occupant homes with no pets, or those who own vacation homes that don’t get much use, can usually wait for 6 to 12 months before changing their filter 

What Happens When You Don’t Change Your Filter? 

When air filters are not consistently changed, they get clogged by the buildup of particles and contaminants that stick to the filter.  While the filter is designed to accommodate these minuscule items, the buildup creates an almost impenetrable barrier so that the air cannot completely flow through, which can ultimately cause multiple problems for the entire HVAC system.  

 Higher Energy Bills

When the filter becomes clogged, air cannot easily flow through the system. This causes the whole system to have to work harder to distribute heat or air where it is needed, which increases your utility bills since the air is running for longer. 

Poor Temperature Regulation 

Since clogged air filters make the system strain to create airflow, warm or cool air cannot adequately go where it is needed. This means that some rooms could be too cold during the winter or too hot in the summer. 

Health Concerns 

If the air filter is clogged and cannot trap contaminants as it did before, those things can end up back in the air that everyone in your home is breathing. Immediate issues could include headaches, itchy eyes or throat, and dizziness. If the air filters are not changed and the issues continue, the long-term effects could be respiratory diseases, heart disease, or cancer.

Furnace Failures

As the system is working harder to get around clogged air filters, it can cause the entire system to overwork and eventually break. If this happens, you’ll need to replace the entire system, which can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $12,000. Air filters usually cost less than $40, so they are easy to replace frequently compared to replacing the entire system. 

Clamped-Up Coils 

Evaporative coils, which help remove heat from the air to keep your home cool, can freeze up if they are overworked. With a clogged air filter, the air won’t flow over the coils correctly, which makes them stop working and leads to total system failure. Again, the price to fix this issue is greater than simply purchasing a new air filter every few months. Protect your HVAC system and your wallet by replacing the air filters on a regular schedule. 

What To Do

If you haven’t changed the air filters in your home lately, your next step should be to figure out which filters you need and replace them as soon as possible. If you find that the old filters look like nothing, not even air, could ever pass through them, it’s time to contact an HVAC professional. They can visit your house to inspect the system and resolve any issues caused by the clogged filters, thus preventing further problems in the future. 

No matter what you need in regards to your HVAC system, HVAC.com can connect you with top-rated professionals in your area that can address any problem. Find helpful information and resources on our site, then let us help you get in touch with the HVAC specialist that you need. 

Related Posts about Air Filters:

What are the Most Common Air Filter Sizes
Furnace Air Filters – Everything you need to know
Why is it Important to Have Good Quality Air Filters?

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My Evaporator Coil is Frozen! What Now?

Knowing how the air conditioning (AC) unit in your Spring Hill, Florida, home works and what can go wrong will help you to better understand the importance of maintenance and how to keep your system running more efficiently. One common problem that can occur with your AC system is the evaporator coil freezing.

Why Your Evaporator Coil May Freeze

Your AC unit cools your home by expanding refrigerant in your evaporator coil, causing it to cool down quickly. The cooled coil will then come in contact with the warm air in your home where the refrigerant will absorb the heat before it gets transferred outside. For the coil to operate properly, there needs to be the right amount of airflow and refrigerant levels. Some of the top reasons your coil may freeze include:

  • dirty filters
  • broken fans
  • low refrigerant
  • blocked condensate lines.

Signs That Your Evaporator Coil May Be Frozen

If you are having problems with your AC unit, some of the signs below may point to a frozen coil as the culprit:

  • ice around the outdoor refrigerant line
  • moisture or condensation around the air handler
  • the drain pan is full or overflowing.

What to Do if Your Coil Is Frozen?

The first step if your evaporator coil freezes is to shut off your system. Failure to do this could result in compressor failure. You should then contact an HVAC technician. They will need to identify the underlying problem to ensure it is fixed and in order to make sure it is functioning again. While waiting for the technician to arrive, you will need to clean up any water damage while the ice is melting. Once we fix that issue with your system, you should set up a regular maintenance plan to avoid the problem from occurring again in the future. Preventative maintenance can address common issues that result in frozen coils.

If you suspect you have a frozen evaporator coil, contact us at 866-881-5935 today. One of our Senica Air Conditioning specialists will address the issue and get your system running efficiently again.

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This post appeared first on Senicaair.com

What Is an HVAC Package Unit? AC & Heat in One System

HVAC package unit located on the roof of a commercial building

As air conditioning season winds down here in the New York City area, thoughts turn to upcoming heating requirements and the inevitable question: Is my heating system ready to do its job?

If preventive maintenance is part of your HVAC provider relationship — and it should be — your system has probably already been inspected and serviced in anticipation of the colder weather to come.

If you’re thinking about upgrading or replacing your system, you might want to consider an HVAC package unit — offering a combination heating and cooling system that is flexible, space saving, and energy efficient.

Differences between an HVAC package unit and a traditional system

As the name implies, a packaged HVAC system contains all of its components in a single unit, which is placed outdoors.

This is far different from a traditional solution with multiple separate components, including a furnace or heat pump and split-system central air conditioner. In fact, the typical AC system alone has three or more components: an outdoor condenser and compressor unit, an indoor evaporator coil unit, and at least one air handler for moving cooled air through the ductwork.

Otherwise, a packaged system generally heats and cools the same way that its stand-alone counterparts do.

Sized right and located outdoors to meet a building’s needs

HVAC package units are available in small and large sizes to meet different needs based on a building’s heating/cooling capacity and installation requirements.

Smaller package units are often used for heating and cooling private homes in parts of the United States where houses don’t have crawl spaces or basements. In fact, the units can be used in any small building where there is little room indoors for a furnace along with the AC coil and air handler required for a split system.

Here in NYC, a larger HVAC package unit is often used for commercial and multi-tenant residential buildings. The unit typically sits on the roof, although it can be installed on a concrete slab next to the building’s foundation, the way the smaller package units are installed.

Rather than having to connect with various components in the building, with a packaged system the air supply and return ducts exit the building through an exterior wall or the roof to connect directly to the ground level unit or rooftop package unit, respectively.

Learn more: Check out these things to know about HVAC rooftop units (RTUs).

Different HVAC package unit configurations

An HVAC package unit comes in a variety of all-in-one heating and cooling configurations.

All of the options eliminate the need for a separate indoor furnace. So, the choice often depends on which type(s) of energy is used or how efficient the unit is for a particular location and heating/cooling requirements. For example:

  • packaged air conditioner houses all the elements of a split system AC — compressor, coils, and air handler — along with some heating capabilities using electric heat strips or heating coils. The unit offers an all-electric heating and cooling solution that is appropriate for warmer climates where heat is needed only occasionally.
  • packaged gas-electric unit includes an air conditioner, a coil, and a natural gas or propane furnace in the same outdoor system. It combines electric-powered AC with the efficiency of gas-powered heating using the same ductwork.
  • packaged heat pump includes the AC components along with a heat pump and an air handler to both cool and heat a building. The unit is an all-electric solution more commonly used in areas where temperatures rarely drop below freezing.

The best HVAC package unit for NYC?

A fourth configuration, a packaged dual-fuel unit, includes a heat pump for heating and cooling along with a gas furnace. Basically, the system is designed to automatically use the most efficient heating method — electric or gas — based on the conditions.

When only moderate heating is needed, the system uses the heat pump mode to deliver warmed air. But when temperatures drop below 25°F, the system switches over to gas furnace mode to provide reliable, consistent heat.

In places like NYC and the northeast, these dual-fuel systems offer the benefits of a heat pump for cooling and light heating plus the heating power of a gas furnace for when temperatures get cold — again, all within a single HVAC package unit.

In addition, heat pump functionality reduces the amount of gas used to heat your building throughout the year, to reduce your overall gas bill.

Learn more about heat pumps: What is a Heat Pump and How Does It Work?

Benefits of an HVAC package unit

For commercial and residential buildings, an HVAC package unit is a self-contained heating and cooling system with a number of attractive benefits.

  • Fast, easy installation: Because an HVAC package unit is an all-in-one solution, it takes less time to install than a system made up of multiple HVAC units spread throughout a building (which keeps your installation costs down).
  • Optimized use of space: Rather than taking up valuable indoor space, an HVAC package system lets you reserve those indoor areas for additional living or income-generating purposes.
  • Streamlined maintenance: Because all the components are in a single, easy-to-reach location, an HVAC package unit is faster and simpler for a technician to service and maintain — which means less time on the clock and less cost for you.
  • Lower energy costs: As an all-in-one solution, an HVAC package unit doesn’t have to work as hard as a multiple-unit system — potentially giving you greater energy efficiency and lower energy bills.
  • Flexibility: With the choice of unit sizes and heating and air conditioning configurations, an HVAC package unit lets you tailor your heating and cooling solution to your needs.

Is an HVAC package unit right for you?

With all the available options, it can be difficult to choose the best one for your needs.

Arista provides complete HVAC services, from assessing usage requirements and designing a system through installation and ongoing maintenance. Our experts can help you weigh the benefits and do a cost-benefit analysis to see if an HVAC package unit will meet your heating and cooling requirements.

Just give us a call if you’re in the NYC area, and we’ll be happy to help!

 

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