Month: October 2022

How to Choose the Right Tube Cleaner for Optimal Chiller Cleaning

The cost of running HVAC systems on commercial properties is a large part of their operating budget. Whether using chillers for residential or commercial comfort, process cooling, or other industrial applications, keeping systems running efficiently is a fast way to pad the bottom line. Skipping maintenance impacts the chiller’s performance and reduces plant efficiency.

Keeping the evaporator and condenser tubes free of fouling and tube corrosion is a critical preventative maintenance task for chillers. A proper water treatment program always helps, but physical cleaning is required. Failing to maintain chiller tubes leads to scaling, corrosion, and reduced heat transfer throughout the cooling system. As heat transfer efficiency falls, operating and maintenance costs go up. Cleaning can deliver significant energy savings. Additionally, other system components like compressors and pumps need to work harder when tubes are fouled and dirty, adding to operating costs and wear and tear to those items. Read on to learn how to choose the right tube cleaner to maximize your chiller cleaning.

The Importance of Maintenance/Chiller Cleaning

A commercial HVAC chiller system generally relies on water as its heat transfer method. The heat transfer process removes heat from the water, transferring it to another fluid, thereby cooling it. It then pumps cooled water through air handlers in the facility, computer room, or the manufacturing process. In that process heat is absorbed into the water (causing a cooling effect) and sent back to the chiller, or to a cooling tower, or air-cooled heat exchanger to dissipate the absorbed heat. The water is then returned to the chiller for further cooling.

A chiller system with poor heat transfer cannot chill areas to the preferred temperature.

Contaminants in chiller tubes lead to poor heat transfer. Hard water minerals, scaling, algae, and other debris can block condenser and evaporator tubes and impair their functioning.

Five Reasons to Perform Chiller Tube Cleaning

  • Maintain heat transfer efficiency
  • Ensure energy-efficient operation
  • Produce fewer greenhouse gases
  • Protect the HVAC system from early failures
  • Reduce unplanned downtime

Need Help Choosing the Right Tube Cleaner? We’ve Compiled These Tips:

Whether cleaning chiller tubes for the first time or it’s time for a process review, it’s essential to examine the options available. Many techniques exist for heat exchanger and chiller tube cleaning. Here are five steps to help choose the right options for a cleaning application.

Step 1: Choose a cleaning method. Common chiller tube cleaning procedures include:

  • Rod and brush. This is the oldest and least effective method. It is time-consuming and delivers varying results.
  • Chemical descalers. Circulates an acid-based chiller cleaning chemical through the chiller to remove hard mineral deposits. This method works well with rotary tube cleaners when heavy scale is present.
  • Rotary tube cleaners. A common and effective chiller tube cleaning procedure removes various deposits.

Step 2: Determine the deposit type. Before choosing a cleaning method, determine the deposit type. Is it:

  • Light to medium buildup, such as algae, mud or slime?
  • Crusty buildup, such as scale or other mineral deposits?

Goodway offers chiller tube cleaning systems with different technical features, such as integrated water flushes, reversible brush rotation, or variable speed brush rotation, each designed for specific types of buildup. Matching the brush bristles to the deposit is important.

Step 3: Check chiller tube types. Knowing the types of chiller tubes being cleaned helps technicians select the right tools for the job.

  • Smoothbore tubes: These tubes have smooth walls and are commonly used in chiller heat exchanger tubes.
  • Internally enhanced tubes: These tubes, found in newer chillers and heat exchangers, have spiral grooves inside to create more turbulence as water passes through. The design provides more surface area in the tube, which correlates to better heat exchange and less energy consumption. However, more effective, internally enhanced tubes present unique tube cleaning challenges.

Each tube type requires special tools. For instance, a system with variable-speed brush rotation works best for internally enhanced tubes.

Step 4: Select the right brush. Goodway offers high quality brushes designed to fit each curve and crevice inside chiller tubes and for different deposit types. Brush types include:

  • Patriot Duel Diameter Nylon Brushes: Best for removing soft deposits in internally enhanced tubes.
  • Blue Nylon Brushes: Best for removing soft deposits in straight tubes.
  • Grit Brushes: Best with light, hard deposits, such as mineral buildup in smooth bore tubes.
  • Brass brushes: Best for light to medium hard deposits in smooth bore tubes.
  • Specialized Cleaning Tools: Available to solve other tube cleaning challenges, even completely clogged tubes.

Step 5: Choose the right cleaner. Choose between AWT-100X Air Powered Tube Cleaner, RAM-4-ID, and RAM-5-ID, and other Goodway cleaners. Each cleaner offers features and benefits to clean chiller tubes in specific situations. A Goodway sales representative can match a cleaner to the chiller tube and deposits involved.

Download the complete Chiller Tube Cleaner Buying Guide.

Using Tube Cleaners to Clean Dirty Chiller Tubes

Choosing the right tube cleaner comes down to specific differences in power needs, applications, and business needs. Whatever the need, Goodway Technologies has them covered.

Goodway recently updated its most popular tube cleaning systems.

  • AWT-100X Air Powered Tube Cleaner: The most powerful and versatile chiller tube cleaning solution from Goodway. This tube cleaner delivers portability and intuitive technology for tubes, pipes, and more, in wet or dry cleaning conditions. The chiller tube cleaning machine uses air pressure, and a cleaning tool mounted to the tip of a flexible shaft, to remove tough deposits from boilers, heat exchangers, and large pipes.
  • RAM-4-ID: The all-new RAM-4-ID is the fifth generation of this market-leading tube cleaner. It features a sleek modern design, improved portability, and intuitive controls for simple, one-person operation. Using a flexible shaft with reversible rotation and integrated water flush, the Goodway tube cleaning system delivers powerful performance for fast, effective cleaning of tubes/pipes ¼-inch to 1-inch (6.4-25.4mm) in diameter in chillers, condensers, evaporators, absorption machines, and heat exchangers.
  • RAM-5-ID: This Speed Feed Goodway tube cleaner takes high-speed tube cleaning to new levels and is designed for contractors and facility managers with large tube bundles. The system features the Goodway exclusive Speed Feed gun system that automatically inserts and removes the shaft into tubes to clean them up to four times faster than other condenser tube cleaning systems. Users can dial in the system’s rotating shaft speed to meet the cleaning needs of specific tube types. Adding in an integrated water flush creates a speedy method for cleaning tubes/pipes ¼-inch to 1-inch (6.4-25.4mm) in diameter in chillers, condensers, evaporators, absorption machines, and heat exchangers.

Next Steps

Keeping evaporator and condenser tubes free of fouling ensures chillers operate as they should. Goodway offers chiller cleaning tools, chemicals, and systems to handle virtually any chiller cleaning need. Additionally, regularly cleaning cooling towers will reduce tube fouling if your system has a cooling tower installed. But don’t go it alone. Call a Goodway Industrial expert to reveal the best cleaning methods, tools, and chemicals for your chiller application.

This post appeared first on Goodway.com

Why Is My Furnace Not Heating?

If your furnace isn’t blowing hot air, you may be tempted to call for furnace maintenance. But before you do that, there are some things you can do yourself to figure out why your furnace is not heating or working correctly.

Thermostat Problems

You can get a lot of information about the state of your heating system by checking out the thermostat. Oftentimes, all it takes is a quick thermostat reset to get your HVAC system back on track.

Fan is Set to On

Make sure your fan is on auto mode. Too often we see thermostats in “fan” mode. When fan mode is set to default, the fan is always running—even when the home has reached its desired heat level. This means the fan will always be running, making your nice warm home cool again. When you switch the fan to auto, your HVAC system will go into a sleep mode once your home is nice and warm.

Image: A Man And His Thermostat.

Somebody is Messing with the Thermostat

Not all family members like the same temperature. Some feel the cold more than others, and some get too hot quickly. Check that nobody is messing with the thermostat settings causing the fan to blow cold air.

Image: A Man Adjusting His Thermostat.

Battery is Low

When a thermostat battery is low, the system will essentially turn off. The thermostat is like the remote control for your entire HVAC system, when it’s out of battery, so is your furnace.

Most people who own a thermostat have a good idea of how to replace the batteries in the device. However, if you don’t have any experience with electronics or aren’t comfortable taking apart the unit, it is best to call for professional furnace maintenance.

A Clogged or Dirty Air Filter

If your furnace is blowing cold air, you may have a dirty or clogged air filter. The easiest way to check is to remove the filter and replace it with a new one.

Image: A Clean And Dirty Air Filter Side By Side.
If you have a washable or reusable filter, you can clean it using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. All other air filters will need to be replaced. We recommend changing your air filter at least twice per year. For homes in dusty areas, or homes with long haired pets, you may need to change the filter more often.

If your furnace isn’t working after cleaning or replacing the filter, you’ll need to call an HVAC professional to check on your system and preform any necessary furnace maintenance.

High Limit Switch Failed

Your furnace has several sensors that keep it running safely and efficiently. One of these sensors is the high limit switch, which detects excessive heat levels in the furnace and shuts off power if they get too high. When this happens, you won’t be able to use your thermostat or turn on any fans. The best thing you can do is call an HVAC professional to diagnose your system and reset the switch.

Clog in the Condensate Drain Line

Condensate drains are designed to remove excess moisture from indoor air during normal operation of a central heating system. The moisture is drained by gravity through the condensate pan, which is a flat pan that sits under the furnace.

A Problem with the Fuel Source

If you have a furnace that stops working, it could be because of gas, oil, or electricity.

  • If your furnace is not getting enough gas to work, the pilot light will go out, and the burner will shut off.
  • Check that you have enough oil in your tank.
  • For furnaces that run on electricity, check your fuses, and power supply.

Leaking Ducts

A leak in your ductwork allows cold air from outside to enter your home through the ducts and mix with warm indoor air before being blown into other rooms through registers or grills in the ceiling. This causes uneven temperatures throughout your home.

Image: Metal Tubing Used As Ducts And Ductwork.

Pilot Light Isn’t On

The pilot light is a safety feature that ensures your furnace doesn’t accidentally ignite in the off position. When the furnace is off, there is no flame to burn out a system component. If your pilot light goes out, a system problem needs fixing immediately.

Pilot lights are intended to stay lit for several hours after being ignited, so if you notice that yours has gone out, it’s time for furnace maintenance.

Burner Issues

A blocked burner can be caused by a buildup of dirt and grease. After a while, these substances clog up the burner, making it impossible for gas to ignite properly. This may also cause damage to other parts of your furnace, making it tricky to heat your home.

Flame Sensor Issues

A dirty or worn flame sensor will cause your furnace to run inefficiently, resulting in higher energy bills and possibly damaging your heating system. To clean the flame sensor, remove it from its housing and use a small brush to gently scrub any dirt or residue away. If the flame sensor is worn or damaged, you should replace it with a new one.

Always Call a Professional for Furnace Maintenance

A professional technician can collect data about your furnace to help diagnose problems or determine how best to fix them.

Image: An Hvac Professional Changes An Air Filter.
A furnace tune-up helps ensure your system runs efficiently and prolongs its life by clearing out dust and grime. What’s more, heat will reach parts of your home evenly, saving you money on heating bills!

Say goodbye to a cold home this winter by booking a furnace tune-up with the pros at Service Champions.

What is the Best Type of Toilet Paper?

We all use the toilet regularly, but there remains a lot of confusion as what is the best type of toilet paper to use. While many people make do with whatever paper product their family has used for generations, this may not be the best choice for everyone.

We’ve put together some advice to help you choose the best type of toilet paper for your plumbing system.

Why toilet paper matters (the wrong type can clog your pipes)

Toilet paper is one of those things that everyone takes for granted. We buy it, use it, and flush it away without giving much thought to the process. But if you’ve ever had a clogged toilet, you know how important it is to choose your toilet paper wisely.

Image: Many Rolls Of Toilet Paper Against A Blue Background.
Look for products that don’t contain lotions or moisturizers. These ingredients can leave residue and build up in the pipes over time, causing clogs.

The Main Factors to Consider

When choosing toilet paper, consider these four factors.

How Fast it Dissolves

Toilet paper dissolves pretty quickly when it goes down the drain. However, fast-dissolving toilet paper is even better at breaking down quickly and easily without clogging pipes or causing other problems. It dissolves faster in water, so it won’t leave any residue in your pipes or septic tank. This means less time cleaning out your pipes, saving water bills and maintenance costs down the road.

Image: Cat Meme About Clogged Toilet.

Chlorine-Free

Chlorine can upset the balance of bacteria in your septic tank, affecting the rate at which your waste breaks down. However, chlorine-free toilet paper is easier on your plumbing system because it doesn’t contain chemicals that can damage pipes and septic systems.

Strength

Ply is the number of sheets in a roll. The higher the ply, the thicker the toilet paper.

Image: A Tweet About The Great Toilet Paper Shortage Of 2020.
Softness is determined by how many plies are used. Single-ply toilet paper is generally considered to be softest, then two-ply and three-ply. Four-ply or more is considered extra strong, meaning it’s less likely to tear when you use it.

Eco-Friendly

Eco-friendly toilet paper is made from recycled materials and natural fibers like bamboo or cotton. It’s biodegradable and doesn’t have any chemicals or dyes in it. Therefore, it’s better for the environment and healthier for you.

Why Ply Matters

If you’re using 2-ply or 3-ply toilet paper, you could be putting more stress on your plumbing system than necessary. However, using one ply rather than two or three means less bulk when it comes time for flushing; this means less strain on your pipes and plumbing lines overall.

Toilet Paper That Can Hurt Your Plumbing System

Stay clear of flushing these items down your toilet, or you could end up with an expensive plumbing maintenance bill.

Flushable Wipes

When you flush a wipe, it breaks into pieces that can get stuck on the sides of your toilet and inside the pipes. This can cause clogs and other issues with your plumbing system.

Toilet paper is designed to break down quickly when flushed, but flushable wipes are not. So even if they claim to be biodegradable or compostable, they can still stick around for months or years in your pipes.

Extra Soft

You shouldn’t flush extra soft toilet paper because it takes longer to break down in the sewage system. This means that instead of breaking into smaller pieces, it will remain intact as it travels through your pipes and into your septic tank or sewer system. This can cause serious problems for your plumbing system.

Image: A Child Playing With A Toilet Paper Roll.

3 or 4-Ply Toilet Paper

Thinner toilet paper dissolves more quickly and easily than thicker ones because they don’t take as long to break down when exposed to water. Unfortunately, this means that if you use 3 or 4-ply toilet paper, it will stay in your pipes much longer than 2-ply, which could lead to clogs over time.

Image: A Gloved Hand With A Plunger.

The Best Type of Toilet Paper to Use

When it comes to the best toilet paper, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. The first one is the ply. The more plies (layers) you have, the softer your toilet paper will be. This is great if you want something that feels like a cloud on your bum but not so much if you’re going to avoid clogged pipes.

The last thing you should look out for when buying toilet paper is recycled content. This means that some of the materials used to make your toilet paper were recycled from other sources, such as old newspapers or cardboard boxes. This can help save resources and reduce waste from landfills.

There are plenty of toilet paper brands to choose from. So keep trying until you find one you like the best.

Need plumbing maintenance for your Southern California home? Contact the plumbing professionals at Service Champions. We have all your home plumbing needs covered.

Signs It’s Time for an Annual Furnace Tune-Up

Your furnace keeps your home and family cozy in the winter. Because of this, you need to be able to rely on it. At Service Champions, we recommend an annual furnace tune-up for all of our Southern California residents.

If you’re asking, “why every year,” it’s simple. Don’t wait until you have a major issue with your furnace. Regular maintenance helps keep small problems from turning into big, expensive issues. Here are some signs to watch for that it’s time for your annual furnace tune-up.

How Often Should I Book a Furnace Tune-Up?

It’s far too easy to let your furnace and AC go without a tune-up. After all, they’re working just as they should. However, this becomes a problem when something breaks or goes wrong. A neglected HVAC system will cost you more money over the long run.

Image: Vacuuming Out The Inside Of A Furnace.
Instead, you should be thinking of your HVAC system like a car. A car needs to have regular service, oil changes, and tire rotations. Why not your HVAC system?

We recommend booking two tune-ups per year. A yearly AC tune up before the start of spring and an annual furnace tune-up before temperatures drop. A professional HVAC technician will catch any small problems and fix them right away.

Why is an Annual Furnace Tune-Up Important?

Furnaces are one of the most important appliances in your home. They keep you warm and are also an energy-efficient way to heat your home. But furnaces need regular maintenance to ensure they will continue to work correctly and efficiently.

Image: Austin Powers Meme About Broken Heating System.
The benefits of having your furnace tuned up include:

  • Lower energy costs. A properly working furnace uses less fuel and lowers your utility bills.
  • Extending the life of your equipment. If your system isn’t running efficiently, it could shorten its lifespan.
  • Safe operation. A properly maintained furnace keeps dust and debris away from heat-sensitive components, reducing the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Improved indoor air quality. Furnace maintenance keeps allergens like dust mites and pet dander out of the air you breathe.

Signs you Need a Furnace Tune-Up

If you notice any of these signs, contact a professional for furnace maintenance.

Energy Bills Have Gone Up

Your furnace should kick on when you need it most, when everyone is home, and shut off during periods of low activity so that your heating costs aren’t unnecessarily high. If your energy bill spikes during certain times of day or you see a spike out of nowhere, it could mean your system is not running as efficiently as it should.

Image: A Couple Looks At Their Monthly Expenses.

Something Smells Funky

Your furnace should never smell. If your home is starting to smell like burning plastic or dust, then it may be time for a professional to check things out. You could have a clogged air filter, built-up of dirt, or an electrical fault could lead to some issues with your furnace, or even a fire, if not dealt with.

Heat is Patchy (Or There’s no Heat at All)

When your home is unevenly heated, it may be a sign that the blower isn’t pulling air evenly through the ducts. This can also happen if there is a problem with the wire connecting your furnace to the thermostat.

If you turn on your furnace and nothing happens, there could be several different issues at play here – from a faulty thermostat to clogged vents or tubing malfunctions. Call in the pros for an inspection if this happens more than once.

Fiddling with the Thermostat Makes no Difference

You might notice that your home doesn’t heat up as quickly or efficiently as it used to or that you have to adjust the thermostat more than usual to get the desired temperature. This could be caused by poor wiring, a faulty thermostat, or simply just dead batteries. An expert can diagnose these issues and replace any defective parts.

Pilot Light is Yellow or Orange

If your furnace pilot light is red or orange, it means that the gas valve is not closing correctly. This can be caused by several reasons, including

  • Too much carbon monoxide causing the flame to burn incorrectly.
  • A lack of oxygen meaning incorrect combustion.

If you don’t have a blue flame, contact an HVAC technician for furnace maintenance.

Furnace is Old

If you’ve owned your furnace for years, it’s not uncommon for it to develop some problems. This is especially true if you don’t have a regular maintenance schedule in place. The longer you go without a tune-up, the more likely your furnace will develop problems that can cost you money and inconvenience.

Image: A Furnace In The Basement.
Older furnaces burn more fuel than newer ones because they’re less efficient at converting energy into heat than newer systems. Older units also tend to be less efficient at keeping heat inside your home because they leak more air through their seals than recent models. A tune-up will help ensure you get the best out of your old furnace.

Keep your furnace in excellent condition by booking a furnace tune-up with the Service Champions professionals.

Keep Nasty Odors out of Your Home Gym

A home gym is a great way to keep fit, but after a while, home gym smells can start to affect the enjoyment of your workout, and the rest of your home in general. The good news is that these smells are preventable. You can take steps to avoid them and remove any odors that are starting to build up. Here are some top tips for keeping your home gym smelling fresh.

What Causes That Home Gym Smell?

A home gym is supposed to be a place where you can get away from the stress of life and get in a good workout. But if your equipment reeks of sweat, that’s not going to happen.

Image: A Woman Stretching With Her Cat Before A Workout In Her Home Gym.
So why does your gym stink? Here are some common reasons:

  • Bacteria growing on surfaces gives off unpleasant odors.
  • Lack of ventilation. If there’s insufficient air circulation in the room, sweat won’t dry out, and the smell will linger.
  • Sweat builds up on benches and mats.
  • You don’t clean up after yourself properly. Bacteria love moisture — so if you leave water bottles or towels lying around all day long, they could become breeding grounds for odor-causing microbes.

Make Sure to Clean Your Equipment After Every Workout

It’s a fact – your home gym will get dirty. You’ll sweat, your weights will get dusty, and other factors like drink spills and deodorizers make it tricky to keep your workout area smelling fresh. Luckily, there are some easy ways to keep your gym clean and smelling fresh.

  • Keep your equipment wiped down with a disinfectant wipe before and after each use.
  • Wipe down the floor mats.
  • Sweep up any dirt or hair before you leave the gym.
  • Use paper towels or wipes to clean up spills on equipment or floors.
  • Empty bins regularly.

Ventilate and Allow Air to Circulate Around Your Home Gym

A home gym should have good ventilation and air circulation. Unfortunately, many people set up their home gyms in their basements or attics, and these areas tend to be dark, humid, and dank.

Image: A Man Working Out In His Well Ventilated Home Gym
The best way to avoid this is by installing a fan in the ceiling or wall. This will help move around the air in the room and prevent it from stagnating.

If you have windows in your home gym, open them up and allow air to circulate. Fresh air is great for workouts.

Use an All-Natural Air Freshener

Most gyms have a scent of sweat, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can change your gym’s smell with these easy natural air fresheners.

Essential oils

There are many different kinds of essential oils. Some have a strong scent, while others are softer or more subtle. You can add a few drops of these oils to a diffuser. Peppermint and eucalyptus are refreshing gym fragrances.

Citrus-based smells

Citrus scents are fresh and energizing, making them perfect for gyms. Try lemon or grapefruit essential oils (or real fruit!) for a sweet citrus scent or orange essential oil for something zingier.

Image: Essential Oils.

Baking soda

This is one of the most common odor absorbers, and it works very well to remove odors from the air. Put a box or two of baking soda around the gym. The baking soda will absorb unwanted smells, but you’ll need to replace it every few days.

ALWAYS Clean Your Towels

The first step in cleaning your gym towel is removing the odor-causing bacteria. To do so, wash your gym towel with hot water and detergent, or put it in the washing machine on hot with detergent. Use bleach if you want to get rid of stains too.

Image: Dirty Towels.

Invest in a Dehumidifier and an Air Purifier

Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air to keep your home gym dry and more comfortable during hot weather. A dehumidifier does not just make it easier for you to breathe when exercising, less moisture in the air also helps prevent mold growth inside your home gym equipment.

Air purifiers work by removing contaminants from the air. The most common pollutants are mold spores, dust mites, and pet dander. Some air purifiers also remove bacteria, viruses, and pollen.

Check for Mold

Mold grows best in warm places with high humidity and poor ventilation. Just know, it’s not unusual for mold to develop in your home gym if it hasn’t been properly maintained or ventilated.

When left unchecked, mold can cause serious health problems for anyone who comes into contact with it. It can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory issues, causing sneezing and congestion.

Book an HVAC Tune-Up

Regular maintenance is essential to keeping your HVAC system running efficiently. A tune-up can help you extend the life of your equipment and improve energy efficiency. It also helps to ensure that your home is comfortable, especially if you have a family member with allergies or asthma.

Image: Replacing A Furnace Filter.Keep your HVAC system in top working condition by booking an HVAC tune-up with the Service Champions.

Don’t Forget Your Furnace When Decluttering and Doing Attic Organization

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with attic organization, especially if you have a lot of stuff to sort through. Boxes build up, and it’s tricky to know where to place everything while still leaving room for your furnace to work efficiently.

Here are some quick tips to help you organize your attic without stress and frustration.

Assess the Attic Situation

When you’re in the middle of a decluttering project, it can be tempting to just start throwing things away without thinking about what’s happening. But before you begin, it’s important to assess the situation and figure out where everything will go.

Think about how much space you have for storage and the type of storage you might need. For example, will shelves be a better option than boxes?

Remember, you’ll need to access your stuff, so you’ll need to leave space to move around.

Pull Everything Out of Your Attic and Clean

Attics are a great place for storing your belongings. However, leaving them dirty can mean they become a hotbed for mold, mildew, and other harmful organisms. If you don’t clean your attic before using it for storage, you could be inviting pests such as cockroaches, rats, and mice into your home.

Image: A Bunch Of Cardboard Boxes That Are Normally Used For Storage Sorting And Organizing.
To properly clean your attic, remove all stored items from the attic and wipe down the floor with a damp cloth. Next, vacuum the entire area with a brush attachment to remove dust bunnies. Finally, use a cleaning product designed specifically for attics to clean any remaining dirt and debris that may have accumulated over time. Once you’ve finished cleaning the attic, let it dry completely before storing items back in the space.

Declutter and Sort

When sorting through your stuff, consider using transparent bins for storage. See-through bins are made from clear plastic, making them easy to see through. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

Image: Transparent Boxes Used For Storage And Organization.
When looking for see-through bins for attic storage, consider the size and weight of your items. You don’t want to be lifting heavy boxes in and out of the attic.
Image: A Tweet About Decluttering And Organizing.
If you’re going to make a list for your attic organization, it’s helpful to label the boxes. That way, you know what’s in every box, which will make locating items a breeze.

Create a Shelving System

Shelving makes the attic a better place to store items because it keeps them off the floor and away from any moisture that may be present.

Measure your attic before you start shopping for shelves. You need to know how much room you have available. Measure from floor to ceiling and the length and width of each wall.
Image: Attic Shelves Full Of Storage.
A good thing to check is that the shelves are sturdy enough for their purpose. They should be able to hold heavy objects without breaking or falling down. And don’t place them too close to your furnace – it makes it easier for an HVAC technician to move around when carrying out furnace maintenance.

What Not to Store in the Attic or Furnace Room

Your attic and furnace room are great places to store extra stuff. But they’re not always the best places to keep certain items. Here are a few things you might want to consider before placing them in storage.

Paint and flammable materials

Never place paint or flammables in an attic or furnace room. Both rooms can get hot, which could cause the paint cans to explode.

Image: Paint Cans Against A Wall.

Electronics

Electronics are sensitive to heat and moisture and shouldn’t be stored in these areas for long periods of time. If you want to store electronics, ensure they’re kept dry and away from heat sources like furnaces or water pipes.

Image: A Collection Of Vintage Radios.

Important papers

You may want to keep your birth certificate, social security card, or passport in a safe place — but not in an attic or furnace room. Instead, these documents should be stored in a dry and cool area (or a safe), so they don’t get ruined by water damage or mold growth.

Image: A Woman Going Through Important Documents.

Furnace Safety Measures

How far away should I put my belongings from my furnace? This is an important question to ask during attic organization.

The answer depends on the type of furnace, but a good rule of thumb is to keep things at least 30 inches away. The reason is that it can be dangerous. If something falls into the vents, it can block airflow and cause carbon monoxide to escape.

Image: A Furnace In An Attic.
Keeping combustibles and flammables away from your furnace is essential. For example, bottles, tins, or boxes could fall over and easily create a fire hazard.

Keep your furnace in good working order, and it shouldn’t cause any problems in your attic space.

If your furnace needs a tune-up, contact the furnace maintenance professionals at Service Champions.

Switching your furnace from gas to electric

At HVAC.com, our writers create solutions that put you in control of your HVAC system. Our product reviews and recommendations are researched and backed by real buyers and industry experts, not dictated by our partners.

electric breaker box

As the world moves towards decarbonization, more homeowners are transitioning from gas to electric appliances. Switching your furnace from gas to electric is possible and relatively straightforward with the right contractors on your team. 

Schedule an appointment with a furnace contractor now

The first step to switching from a gas to an electric furnace is to purchase a new furnace. You will not be able to re-wire an existing gas furnace to run on electricity. Check out our article on electric furnaces when you start shopping.

How to convert your house to electric heat

Once you purchase a new furnace, you’ll have to hardwire it into your home’s electrical system. You can’t simply plug a furnace into an electrical outlet for safety reasons.

According to most building codes, an electric furnace must run on a dedicated circuit. The furnace circuit can’t power anything other than the furnace.

As such, the furnace will have its own breaker in your electrical box. Wiring will lead from the breaker box to a disconnect switch to the furnace.

We recommend hiring an HVAC pro to hardwire your new electric furnace once it’s delivered to your home.

Why switch from gas to electric furnace?

Gas and electric furnaces both have their pros and cons. In many cases, homeowners choose to convert their house to electric heat for the following reasons:

⏳ Longer lifespan Electric furnaces last 20-30 years. Gas furnaces last 15-20 years.
🛟 Safer If a gas furnace leaks, you may put your home and family in danger. This may cause a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
🔌 Easier to install Electric furnaces don’t require venting.
💰 Less expensive Electric furnaces cost less than comparable gas furnaces.
🌎 More sustainable As we move towards renewable energy sources, clean electricity is more environmentally-friendly than gas.
☁️ More efficient Electric furnaces are more fuel-efficient than gas furnaces.
💡 Readily available Electricity is commonly available in most homes.

Heat cost: gas vs. electricity

One of the biggest reasons homeowners prefer gas furnaces is that gas is usually less expensive than electricity.

According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), electricity costs $34.90 per one million British Thermal Units (MMBTU). Natural gas costs $9.20 per MMBTU. (Calculations by Learn Metrics.)

However, electric furnaces are less expensive upfront. HomeAdvisor says a new electric furnace costs $1,600-6,900 while a new gas furnace costs $3,800-10,000.

Get a quote on a new electric furnace

Gas to electric furnace: the bottom line

Switching your furnace from gas to electric involves purchasing a new electric furnace and hiring an HVAC technician to install and wire it properly.

While you may pay more to heat your home with electricity, it’s an environmentally sound move that will benefit the environment as we move towards a sustainable electric grid.

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What is HVAC? | HVAC systems and how they work

Your HVAC system brings you indoor comfort all year long. (Did you just think, “Wait, they’ve lost me in the first sentence. What is HVAC?”🤔 You’re in the right place.)

Learn how HVAC systems work and what this fast-growing industry is all about.

What does HVAC mean?

HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) is the use of technology to treat air. HVAC is an umbrella term for the systems, equipment, manufacturers, contractors and technicians that:

What is HVAC used for?

HVAC makes indoor air feel more comfortable. HVAC systems boost the temperature, humidity and air quality of indoor living and gathering spaces.

An HVAC system also adds a buffer between a building and the elements. Without an HVAC system, the temperature inside a building would feel as hot, cold, humid or dry as the air outside.

Residential vs. commercial HVAC

Residential HVAC is the air treatment of homes, apartments, RVs and other living spaces. Smaller systems can heat and cool a single room, while a central system is designed for whole homes.

Commercial HVAC is for corporate offices, industrial buildings and retail stores. Commercial HVAC systems work like residential units, but they’re much bigger because they treat larger spaces.

HVAC: Heating

Heating systems warm indoor spaces. They either create or transfer heat at a central source, then distribute the heat throughout the space.

Furnaces are the most popular heating system in America. While heat pumps are less common, they are gaining popularity with the Inflation Reduction Act that drastically reduces the cost. Heating systems use a range of methods to deliver warm air to a room or building.

Heat distribution methods

Heat distribution methods make sure that warm air actually reaches the room it’s supposed to heat. Although forced air is the most common method in the U.S., there are options for spaces without ductwork.

Forced air heating

A forced air system uses a series of ducts and vents to deliver warm air. In a nutshell, here’s how it works:

Step 1️⃣: Supply vents pull indoor air into the forced air system.
Step 2️⃣: A central heating source, usually a furnace, heats the air.
Step 3️⃣: The warm air leaves the heat source and travels through a network of metal, tunnel-like structures called ducts.
Step 4️⃣: The air reaches a different set of vents. Return vents disperse the air back into the room.

Ductwork is commonly found in commercial spaces and most modern homes, which makes forced air heating so popular.

Radiant heat

Radiant heating systems use direct transfer to deliver warm air. The ceiling, walls or floors have a heat source beneath them. The heat source emits energy, warming the surrounding air on contact.

Radiant heat usually relies on an electric or gas-fueled source, such as a boiler, or a hydronic (water-based) fuel source like a water heater.

The heat source warms the steam, air or water-filled tubes under the floorboard. As a less invasive option, hot panels can be installed in the ceiling or walls.

Radiant heat is energy-efficient, but it’s less common due to its high installation costs.

Geothermal

Geothermal heating uses the ground as its heat source. A few feet under the earth’s surface, the ground absorbs the sun’s rays and keeps a near-constant temperature.

Pipes are buried in the ground, where they absorb the heat. The pipes carry the heat to a heat pump, which transfers the heat and distributes it.

Geothermal heat pumps are gaining popularity, since geothermal energy is considered a renewable resource. It’s expensive to install, though.

Heating systems

A heating system is a device that converts a heat source (or fuel) into warmth. Heating systems use a variety of methods to create or transfer energy.

Check out some of the most popular heating methods and how they work.

Furnaces

furnace

A furnace is the most common heating method in the U.S. Furnaces can convert gas, propane, oil or electricity into heat. 

Most furnaces are central HVAC systems, meaning they create heat in a single location and send the warm air through ducts.

Product Callouts Section

Pros:

Product Pros Highlights

  • Low upfront cost
  • Great for extreme climates
  • Electric models are energy-efficient
Cons:

Product Cons Highlights

  • High operating cost
  • Dry indoor air

Heat pumps

A heat pump is an air conditioning and heating system in one. Heat pumps come in gas and electricity-powered models.

Heat pumps don’t generate heat like a furnace. They transfer it. In heating mode, a heat pump pulls heat from the air, water or ground outdoors and brings it inside. 

In cooling mode, a heat pump works in reverse by pulling warm indoor air and transferring it outside.

Product Callouts Section

Pros:

Product Pros Highlights

  • Energy-efficient
  • Low operating cost
  • Dual HVAC system
Cons:

Product Cons Highlights

  • Not ideal in extreme climates
  • High unit cost

HVAC: Ventilation

Ventilation introduces air into an indoor space. A strong ventilation system boosts indoor air quality and promotes even, consistent airflow.

  • Air purifiers clean and deodorize the air.
  • Humidifiers and dehumidifiers keep moisture at a safe, healthy level.
  • Fans and blowers keep air moving.

HVAC systems use a combination of natural and mechanical ventilation to keep air feeling healthy and comfortable.

Natural vs. mechanical ventilation

Natural ventilation is uncontrolled airflow. Think of the wind blowing or air moving through an open window or door. Indoor spaces rely on natural ventilation to add fresh oxygen to the air.

Mechanical ventilation is airflow controlled by equipment or a device. HVAC systems use fans, motors and blowers to move and disperse air.

Air filters

Forced air and central HVAC systems use air filters. Filters catch airborne germs, dirt, debris and even odors.

💡Tip: To boost indoor air quality, make sure your central HVAC system has the right size filter.

HVAC: Air conditioning

Air conditioning cools indoor spaces. 87% of American homes have air conditioning systems, making them more popular than furnaces and heat pumps.

Air conditioning units work by pulling heat and humidity from your home’s air. The heat is converted from gas to liquid and moved outside, cooling the indoor air.

Check out the different types of air conditioning systems.

Central air conditioning

Central AC is for whole-home cooling. To distribute air, central air conditioners use the same forced air system as furnaces.

A tunnel of ductwork moves the air, and vents disperse the air into each room. There are two common varieties of central air conditioners.

Split system

A split system air conditioner has an indoor unit (air handler) and an outdoor unit (condenser unit).

The outdoor unit collects heat. The indoor unit, or air handler, circulates the air and passes it through a filter.

Packaged system

A packaged system is also known as a local HVAC system. It operates in the same way as a split system, but all the parts are contained in a single outdoor unit.

The outdoor unit combines both elements of a split system in one. Some models of packaged air conditioners also double as heat pumps or furnaces.

Packaged systems are great for homes with limited indoor space. With no indoor unit, packaged systems are also quieter than split systems inside the home.

Mini split

Mini splits are ductless air conditioning systems. The outdoor and indoor unit connect through a set of wires, so it’s a great option for homes without ductwork or central HVAC.

An indoor unit, or the air handler, is mounted on the wall, ceiling or floor. The air handler adds cool air directly to the room.

Single-zone mini splits pair one outdoor unit to one indoor unit. For cooling a single room or an add-on to a home, they’re a cost-effective choice.

Multi-zone mini splits, or multi-splits, pair one single outdoor unit with multiple indoor units. You can individually adjust the temperature of each room (known as zoning).

Window unit

Window air conditioning is an affordable option for single-room cooling. Window units are electric, and most plug into a standard 115V outlet.

We recommend window units for apartment living and as supplemental cooling. Over time, window units have gotten quieter and more attractive.

HVAC FAQ

What’s the difference between AC and HVAC?

AC, or cooling, is just one aspect of the HVAC industry. HVAC also includes heating and ventilation, which uses different systems like furnaces. All air conditioning systems are HVAC systems, but not all HVAC systems are air conditioners.

Where can I buy HVAC equipment?

You can buy central HVAC systems on the manufacturer website or through a local contractor. Some contractors have an exclusive deal with an HVAC manufacturer, so they sell only one brand’s products. Other contractors sell products from multiple HVAC brands. Mini splits and window units are available from third-party retailers like Amazon.

What is HVACR?

The R in HVACR stands for refrigeration, or keeping something cooler than ambient temperature. Refrigerant is the gas-to-liquid component in air conditioners, heat pumps and fridges.

What are the best HVAC brands?

Trane, Lennox and Carrier are considered elite HVAC manufacturers. High-quality, long-lasting products and strong brand recognition contribute to their high cost. Rheem, York and Amana have impressive catalogs, but are often less expensive than the elite brands.

How do I find a quality HVAC contractor?

If you’re starting the search for a contractor, get quotes from at least three businesses. Rates vary widely, even in the same location. Ask each contractor if they’re licensed to operate in your state. To verify, you can ask for a copy of their state license. The contractor should also be bonded and insured. If a technician is injured in your home, insurance covers the damages.

HVAC contractors near me

Need an HVAC contractor? Let’s help you skip the search. We’ve vetted hundreds of HVAC companies to find the best contractors and technicians in the U.S.

Check out the top-reviewed contractors in Charlotte, Raleigh and Dallas.

Don’t see your city? Book a local pro

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4 Ways to Make Your Heat Pump Ready for Cooler Weather

Your heat pump should be in top shape when the cold weather sets in to offer you more comfort and energy efficiency. Luckily, there are ways you can improve your system’s performance. Below, we will go through how to prepare your heat pump for cooler weather in Pasco County, FL.

Schedule Maintenance

Heat pump maintenance helps increase your system’s life, save energy and enables you to enjoy more indoor comfort. During the maintenance visit, the service technician will clean the system’s coils, inspect the electric components, check for any refrigerant leaks and worn-out belts, inspect your thermostat and clean the drain lines. They’ll also check for abnormal noises and lubricate all the moving parts.

Change the Air Filter

Your air filter improves indoor air quality by trapping contaminants circulating in your living space. The pollutants may include pollen, pet dander and debris. When the filter traps lots of these contaminants, it will clog and interfere with proper airflow.

Your system will have a hard time drawing air through a blocked filter. As a result, your unit may run for an extended period and inflate your energy bill. You should change your filter every month or two, as the United States Department of Energy recommends.

Clean the Area Around Your Outdoor Unit

Your heat pump’s outdoor unit helps to draw heat from the outdoor air during the cooler months. Therefore, this unit needs to have uninterrupted airflow. Leaves and debris may accumulate on this component, limiting the airflow.

These contaminants hinder the heat exchange process, causing your system to run for a longer period. Removing these contaminants helps to improve the system’s efficiency. Also, it is not advisable to plant flowers or other plants near or within 3 feet of the outdoor unit.

Invest in a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat helps to increase energy savings. The device records data showing how your heat pump has been consuming energy and suggests ways to improve energy usage.

Also, it learns your temperature preferences and signals your heat pump to warm your home just how you like it. More importantly, you can control it remotely.

Contact Senica Air Conditioning for excellent HVAC services. Our service technicians will fine-tune your unit to enable it to serve you efficiently.

Image provided by iStock

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Natural disaster assistance for your HVAC

At HVAC.com, our writers create solutions that put you in control of your HVAC system. Our product reviews and recommendations are researched and backed by real buyers and industry experts, not dictated by our partners.

hurricane radar

If a natural disaster damaged your whole-home HVAC system, you might be eligible for financial assistance.

Whether a hurricane, flood, earthquake, or other “Act of God” harmed your HVAC equipment, you have options to consider for repair or replacement.

Read on to discover how to check for HVAC coverage and where to apply for federal assistance. 

Schedule an HVAC repair appointment now

HVAC damage covered by warranty

When you purchased your heating and cooling equipment, it came with a warranty from the manufacturer. In most cases, you must register your system for complete warranty coverage. 

If you didn’t keep the paperwork, you can look up your warranty information on the manufacturer’s website. You’ll likely need the unit’s serial number, which you can find printed on the equipment.

Typically, the manufacturer’s warranty on HVAC equipment only covers parts with normal wear-and-tear. It generally does not cover damage from Acts of God, like lightning strikes, storms, or fires. However, it never hurts to check.

HVAC damage covered by homeowners’ insurance

In many cases, this is your best bet for coverage of HVAC damage. Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover damage to home systems by natural disasters.

Homeowners’ insurance generally doesn’t cover damage to heating and cooling units caused by normal wear-and-tear or lack of maintenance.

In some areas, your homeowners’ insurance may require special coverage like flood or hurricane insurance. If you don’t have the appropriate coverage, you may be out of luck when filing a claim.

Note that homeowners’ insurance will only cover whole-home heating and cooling equipment, like central air. It will not protect portable systems like window air conditioners

HVAC damage covered by home warranty

Home warranties provide reduced-cost repair and service visits necessitated by wear-and-tear and natural aging. They do not usually cover damage caused by natural disasters. 

Depending on your required service, your home warranty may pay for labor related to your issue. However, it will not cover the physical repair or replacement of your damaged HVAC unit.

Federal funding for HVAC damage

If your insurance does not cover your damaged HVAC system or if you don’t have insurance, you may be able to apply for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

The president must declare the natural disaster in which your equipment was damaged an emergency to qualify for FEMA assistance. You can find a list of current FEMA disasters here

Depending on the extent of the damage, FEMA may pay for:

  • Cleaning your HVAC equipment
  • Testing your equipment for damage
  • Repairing damaged equipment
  • Replacing destroyed HVAC systems

If your small business was affected by a natural disaster, check out the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Disaster Assistance program. 

How to apply for FEMA assistance

There are four ways to apply for help from FEMA:

Before you apply, make sure you:

#️⃣ Know your Social Security Number
🪪 Have proof of identification (e.g., valid driver’s license, passport, etc.)
🏠 Can provide proof of occupancy/ownership for the property impacted
☂️ Know your insurance policy numbers (if relevant)
✉️ Have an insurance determination letter (if insured)
👀 Can describe the damage to your property and list lost/damaged items
📷 Have photos of the damage to your property
💰 Know your annual household income
🏦 Can provide direct deposit information (bank, account number, routing number, etc.)
📱 Can list contact information (mailing address, phone number, etc.)

You may file an appeal for additional funds if you discover HVAC damage after you’ve received FEMA assistance that did not cover the system. To file an appeal, you need to send a letter requesting additional funds with a verifiable estimate or an itemized receipt from your contractor stating:

  • The actual cost paid or estimated cost
  • Proof that the repair or replacement was not an upgrade
  • Proof that the work was necessary to make the home habitable
  • Proof that the damage was related to a FEMA-approved disaster

If you need to repair your HVAC units following a natural disaster, we can help. Click below to connect with a top-rated local technician who can help you navigate the disaster recovery process. 

Book an appointment now 🧑‍🔧

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