Posts Tagged ‘Balm’

Balm Heating Repair Tip: Things to Try Before Calling a Professional

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Your Balm home’s HVAC system can seem like very daunting and complex equipment, which can be intimidating to even fully imagine, let alone try to work on by yourself. While it’s true that HVAC equipment can be complicated and needs the attention of a skilled professional more often than most homeowners would like, there are still ways for the DIY-ers out there to work on their HVAC systems before resorting to calling in the pros.

There are some common culprits when it comes to most HVAC problems and malfunctions, so if something goes awry in the operation of your equipment, there are some basic measures you can try to get things back on track.

If any of these work, you have saved the cost of the repair and get the satisfaction of a job well done:

  • Turn all switches – indoors and outdoors – off, then back on again. Do the same thing with the pertinent circuit breakers. Sometimes the system just needs a hard reset to jolt it back to life.
  • Check your thermostat. Is the temperature set where it is supposed to be? If it is too high or too low, the HVAC system will stay on too long or shut itself off too quickly.
  • Make sure your system is in the right mode for the season. It may sound obvious, but for whatever reason, sometimes things wind up in heating mode during cooling season.
  • Check your filters. Clean and/or replace them as necessary. (You do this once a month anyway, right?)
  • Inspect the vents around your home to see if any are blocked, clogged or excessively dirty. Vents that don’t properly circulate the air can cause all kinds of problems within an HVAC system.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the things that can go wrong with an HVAC system, but it is at least the usual suspects for the most simple and common problems that many homeowners encounter. After trying these out, if you are still experiencing difficulties, then it is probably time to call a professional to have a look at the problem.

Get Cleaner, Dust Free Air with Your Heat Pump: A Tip from an Auburndale Heating Contractor

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Dust is a common concern for Auburndale homeowners, especially if a child or family member has an allergy that is made worse by its constant presence. So, many people want to know if a new heat pump will help reduce the amount of dust in the house.

Technically, heat pumps don’t remove dust from the air. They are designed to provide heated or cooled air which is then circulated by an air handler through air ducts. In fact, if you don’t clean the air ducts properly and have your heat pump serviced regularly, your dust problem can actually get worse.

However, if you have the right heat pump and it is serviced on a regular basis, you can reduce the dust in your home by quite a bit.

Choosing the Right Components

The key to reducing dust with your heat pump is to choose the right components for your device. Heat pumps have a filter built into the device to keep sediment and debris out of the unit and the air that is cycled through your home.

An additional filter is placed in the air handler to reduce recirculation of contaminants in the indoor air. However, you can really enhance the dust removal of your home’s heat pump by adding an electronic or highly rated mechanical filter, such as a HEPA filter. This will remove a tremendous amount of debris from the indoor air (up to 99% of debris as small as 0.3 microns) and it works directly with your heat pump.

Regular Maintenance

As with any other part of your home, regular cleaning and maintenance is a must to ensure dust doesn’t become a problem. Specifically, you should have someone clean your ductwork which is a common source of dust as it recirculates and builds up over time. Vacuuming you ductwork will remove a huge volume of dust from your home, and ensure the air flow is even and comfortable.

Additionally filters should be changed or cleaned on a regular basis – something you can do yourself between annual maintenance visits. Clogged filters can actually introduce more contaminants to your indoor air if not dealt with properly. In either case, well maintained equipment and properly installed indoor air quality supplements will keep that dust level to a minimum.

Make Your Heating System More Energy Efficient in Wesley Chapel

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Efficiency is what you want when it comes to heating your Wesley Chapel home. You want a furnace that provides the greatest degree of accurate indoor comfort while at the same time operating at peak efficiency to reduce energy usage and lower utility bills. That’s seems like a lot to ask of a simple mechanical system but you should expect it out of the furnace in your basement, attic, or mechanical room.

It is especially important today as energy costs have steadily increased, including electricity, natural and propane gas, and oil. The best way to combat rising prices is to have a furnace that uses less energy. It is a simple statement but one that bears repeating: higher efficiency equals lower operating costs.

Here are some ways to make your heating system more energy efficient:

  1. Clean or replace furnace filters on a regular basis. A dirty or clogged filter will make your furnace work harder and become much less energy efficient. Monthly or quarterly cleaning or replacements are easy to do and will result greater operating efficiencies.
  2. Inspect your home’s ventilation system for accumulation of dirt, dust, or debris. Have you recently added new carpeting? Do your pets shed? Is there a large number of people living in your home? If you answered yes to any of these questions you may need to inspect your ventilation system. You may need to remove the ventilation grilles to take a closer look. Wiping down the inside of your duct work or vacuuming the duct work with a hose attachment will often do the trick. You can also schedule a duct cleaning with a local professional duct cleaning contractor.
  3. Remove obstructions from around vents and grilles. You need a clean path for air to flow into and out of rooms. Restricted airflow makes your furnace work harder and become less energy efficient.
  4. Consider an upgrade to a two-speed or variable speed furnace. Most older furnaces operated on one speed, which cycled on and off and consumed a lot of energy. Today’s furnaces operate at lower speeds, consuming less energy and often remaining on to keep a steady airflow and prevent constant on and off cycling. These newer furnaces are much more energy efficient and cost less to operate.
  5. Adhere to a regular schedule of planned furnace maintenance. If you don’t clean and inspect your furnace on a regular basis, schedule service calls with a Wesley Chapel heating contractor. Your contractor will likely have a service agreement plan to fit your budget, which allows for annual inspections, priority emergency service calls, and discounts on parts and services.

Besides saving on energy costs, your efficient furnace will leave a smaller “carbon footprint.” Your efficient furnace will exhaust less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and maintain a more “green” profile. And being ecologically friendly can be just as important as saving money.

How Do You Measure Your Air Cleaner’s Performance? A Question from Balm

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Your air cleaner is designed to keep your family comfortable and healthy in your Balm home, regardless of what contaminants make their way inside. This is important because homes these days are sealed up tightly to minimize the loss of heating or cooling, but as a result they have poor ventilation and frequently they will suffer a buildup of excess contaminants like mold, dust, pollen and dander.

To ensure you get the best possible air cleaner for your home, there are a number of measurements available to help you in the purchasing process. Let’s take a look at a couple of those measurements and what they mean.

MERV

MERV ratings are used to measure the ability of a filter to remove dust from the air that passes through it. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter works at removing particles. The MERV rating scale goes from 1-16 with 16 being the best possible rating you can obtain from a residential (non-HEPA) grade filter. Usually, they are designed to measure things like dander, dust, smog, wood smoke, spores, bacteria and mold.

When choosing an air cleaner, it is recommended that you look for a MERV rating of at least 8, which is good enough to remove almost all common household contaminants. Higher MERV ratings (17 and up) are found in HEPA filters which are considered among the best on the market, able to remove particles as small as 0.3 microns.

CADR

This rating stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate and is a measurement of how efficiently the air cleaner delivers clean air for tobacco smoke, pollen and dust (the common measurements given for each device). This is not a measurement of the efficiency of the device, so much as the speed of it the device. So, the higher the CADR measurement for all three contaminants, the faster those particles are removed from the indoor air.

The best way to choose a device to match your needs is to look for a CADR rating of at least 2/3 of the size of the room you are cleaning. So, if you are cleaning the air of a 150 square foot bedroom, you should get a device with a CADR rating of at least 100.

Choosing a good air cleaner for your home, make sure you do your research and choose on the best possible option for the space you need to clean. MERV and CADR allow you to do this.

Installing Automatic Thermostats: Quick Fix to Energy Savings

Friday, September 16th, 2011

While you probably spent a lot of time researching your Trilby home’s heating and cooling system to make sure you got one with great energy efficiency ratings and all of the other features you were looking for, one thing you may not have thought a lot about is your thermostat. The thermostat in your home is your direct link to your home comfort system, and the type and quality of the product you have in place can have a much bigger impact on the performance of that system than you may initially realize.

Of course, any thermostat will get the basic job done. You set it for the desired temperature and it will communicate that information down the line to the heating and cooling system. But the better the thermostat you’re using, the better the communication and coordination between the two devices will be. And many advanced thermostats come with all types of special features that can both enhance the quality of your indoor environment and save you some considerable money in the long run.

Saving Money with a New Thermostat

So how can a thermostat save you money? There are actually a couple of ways. For instance, an programmable thermostat can be programmed to switch your heating and cooling system on and off at different pre-set times of day. That means you can have the heat or air conditioning turned off during the day and still come home to a comfortable house. Simply set the thermostat to come on right before you get home and you’ll be able to walk into a perfectly temperature controlled environment without having to keep the heat on all day.

Automatic thermostats can come with other great features as well. For instance, you can set them up to maintain different temperatures in different parts of your home. That way, your home comfort system doesn’t have to work harder to keep your whole house warm or cool when only part of it is in use. And when your home comfort system is working less and using less energy, it will last longer so you won’t have to pay for repairs or a new system nearly as frequently as you might otherwise.

You’ll also pay less on your monthly energy bills the whole time, adding up to a great deal of savings. It might never have occurred to you that a new thermostat could save you so much money, but with all of these benefits, it’s definitely worth looking into.

How Do I Check for a Dirty Evaporator Coil?

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

The evaporator coil is an essential piece of your air conditioning system. It absorbs heat from air that passes over it, and that air then travels into your home to cool it. So if your coil is dirty or isn’t functioning properly, the cooling power of your air conditioning system is diminished. Fortunately, this problem is fixed easily by cleaning the evaporator coil. You can do this on your own or have a professional come in to take care of it.

Signs of a Dirty Evaporator Coil

The most obvious sign of a dirty evaporator coil is an overall drop in system pressure. As long as you know what constitutes a normal pressure for your system, you should be able to tell if the current pressure is below that level. If it is, a dirty evaporator coil is probably your culprit. You can also check the static pressure in your system to see if that is low, but this requires specialized equipment.

Even if you don’t notice any particular signs that your air conditioning system isn’t working properly, it’s a good idea to clean your evaporator coils once a year or so. This can help prevent any larger problems from developing in the future.

Finding Your Coil

Probably the hardest part of cleaning an evaporator coil is reaching it. Unlike your condenser coil, which is located in your outdoor condenser unit, the evaporator coil is found inside near the air handler or furnace. If you have the owner’s manual, there should be detailed instructions telling you where the coil is and how to safely access it.

Alternately, you can have an HVAC technician show you what to do the next time they come out to work on your system. Whatever you do, though, make sure that power to your AC unit is completely shut off before you start working on it. Once you’ve gained access to the coil, use a brush or vacuum attachment to remove any debris or sediment you find there.

The Importance of Maintenance

Cleaning your evaporator coil is only one part of the regular maintenance required to keep your air conditioning system in good working order for the foreseeable future. There are plenty of things you can do on your own, but it pays to have a professional come out once a year or so to check out the entire system and make any necessary repairs.

Savings Found with Fan Coil Units

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

There are a lot of options on the market for your home comfort system, but not all of them are created equally. So, if you’re starting to research cooling devices, make sure you include every possible option in your search – you never know which one will turn out to work best for you.

One excellent cooling device is a fan coil unit. These are simple mechanisms, basically consisting of a fan and a cooling or heating coil. They can be installed in any type of building, from large commercial to residential, and are great for cooling all of those hard-to-reach places that traditional air conditioning systems just can’t reach.

Where the Savings Comes From

In addition to being extremely convenient, fan coil units are quite cost-effective as well. To begin with, their simple design makes them relatively inexpensive to purchase and install. In fact, they require very little labor when compared to just about any other type of cooling device, and that saves you a ton of money up front.

This is especially true if your home or building doesn’t have ductwork installed already. In fact, the largest chunk of the installation cost for a central air conditioning system is the installation of the necessary air ducts. But because they don’t require air ducts to provide you with temperature conditioned air, fan coil units carry with them a much lower installation cost.

But the savings don’t stop there. Fan coil units are also extremely energy efficient to run. That means they’ll keep your monthly energy bills to a minimum as they provide hours of constant cooling even during the hottest parts of the year.

Fan coil units also save you money on your cooling costs because you can control each unit independently of the others. Unlike a central air conditioner that will cool your entire home to a particular temperature, you can use a fan coil unit to cool only the areas of your home that are in use at the moment. That means that you’re not wasting energy to cool empty space, and that can add up to a significant savings over time.

The Preventative Maintenance That Will Save You the Most

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Having a high performance, energy efficient HVAC system will save you a good deal of money in terms of your monthly heating and cooling bills. But that efficiency will not last unless you also take the necessary steps to keep your equipment in good working order. While regular maintenance visits from a professional HVAC technician are an important part of this, there are also several things you can do on your own to keep your equipment running at peak efficiency.

  1. Keep it Clear: The first thing you should do is to make sure that there is plenty of space cleared around your outdoor unit. Whether it is the condenser and compressor for your air conditioning system or part of your heat pump, that outdoor equipment needs to have plenty of space to vent hot air. Also, the space will mean that debris is less likely to develop inside the unit.
  2. Clean the Condensing Coil: While your technician will do this when they make their annual visit, it is best to clean your coil more than just once a year. Just make sure that the power is turned off to your unit before you begin. This will help the unit cool air more efficiently and can prevent a whole host of other problems from developing.
  3. Check on the Blower: If your blower is not working right or the blade is clogged, your HVAC unit will not work properly. Make sure your blower fan is free of all debris and that is turns freely once you have cleaned it. If you are still having a problem with it, you may have to call a technician for repairs. Cleaning the blower out on a regular basis, however, should keep this from becoming a problem you need a professional for.
  4. Air Filters: You should also make sure you change your air filters regularly. This can help to keep your indoor air clean and healthy and it will also enable your HVAC system to run more efficiently.
  5. Clean it Out:Clean out any debris that you can reach from any part of your system. Just make sure any time you work inside your HVAC system that you have all of the power turned off. Anything from leaves to dust can get in there and cause a problem if it is allowed to build up over time. As long as you are on top of things and keep to a regular schedule of maintenance, none of this should take you very long.