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HVAC Blog | National Air Warehouse

  • Keep Your Ducts Clean!

    Keeping everything in your home clean is important but some things need more care than others. Making sure to have your air ducts and other heating and cooling appliances inspected periodically is important. Making sure your duct system is clean will insure you and your family live happy and healthy. It is also good for your finances. Dirty ducts can lead to full HVAC replacement if not cared for properly.  Dirt and other nasty things can build up in your duct system. This causes the whole system to run less efficiently and can cost you more money. Dirty air reduces the quality of air in your house which is not comfortable or healthy for your family or office.

     

    When dust is in the air duct it will start circulating in your house. Dust builds up form pet hair, dead skin and other things. Having this in your ventilation is not good for people with asthma or allergies. Do not torture your family with dust have your ducts cleaned.

     

    Mold can also build in the ducts if moisture is allowed to get in unchecked. This is very detrimental as mold can cause a number of health problems. Headaches, nausea and neurological damage can come from mold spore inhalation. Breathing too much of it can have lasting effects on the body.

     

    Fiberglass and asbestos are also common things that build up in your ducts if they are not kept up properly. Fiberglass may find its way in if it becomes damaged and seeps into the duct. This can cause eye irritation and itching of the skin. Too much of this and it can have detrimental health deficits. Inspecting your wall as well as your air duct is a way to get ahead of this. Asbestos can also live in the duct if not checked. This is not as common but very series and should not be left un-handled.

     

    It is clear that you should keep your ducts clean. It will save you time and money. In addition it will keep you and your family or coworkers safe. Especially in an office setting regular inspections are required. Homes need regular inspections as well to make sure you and your families are happy and healthy.

  • Misconceptions About Your HVAC System

    People are often uneducated about their HVAC system. Many do not have the knowledge of the proper upkeep or things you need to do to maintain your system. Everyone wants to save energy and spend as little as possible and heating and air conditioning and having some know how may be all you need to do so. Here are some common myths and misconceptions about your HVAC system.

     

    You may hear the not using your system will keep it working longer or improve the HVAC system’s lifespan. This is actually incorrect. If you do not use your system dust and dirt may begin to collect. This can cause problems in your system so regular use is actually recommended.

     

    Turning on a fan is a great way to lower your energy bills if you find that you’re turning on the AC too often, but fans don’t cool down rooms in the same way that air conditioners do. AC units work by cooling down the air in the room, but fans produce cooling effects because the increased air circulation allows the sweat on your skin to evaporate faster, thus cooling down your body faster and making the room a little more comfortable. If you aren’t in the room when a fan is turned on, it’s really just a waste of energy.

     

    Humidity will not be effected if you raise the temperature. It cannot be controlled using the HVAC however lowering the temperature may lower the humidity.

     

    One of the most common myths about air conditioning is that you should raise the temperature on your thermostat way up when you leave for work or vacation. HVAC systems are designed to maintain constant temperature. The amount of energy used by your HVAC system to recover the temperature is more than if it remains constant. When leaving for vacation, raise the thermostat about 5 degrees, but any more than that can actually increase your energy consumption and costs.

     

    If the thermostat is located in near a vent or in direct sunlight it may not properly regulate your air conditioning system. This could cause your unit to start and stop frequently, which will lead to premature wear and tear.

     

    Now that you know a little bit more about your system you can take the proper steps necessary to keeping your home at the proper temperature. Proper temperature control will you keep you and your family happy all while saving you money.

  • Benefits of Switching to a Programable Thermostat

    As many sitcoms have pointed out, Dad is always in charge of the thermostat. No one touches it without Dad’s consent. Dad always has to turn it up and down and keep at the temperature he likes. In this day and age with modern technology we do not have to rely on Dad to control the thermostat. Programmable thermostats offer a new comfort and benefit to your home. Many people are making the switch to a programmable thermostat as it is easy to install and gives you control over your heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit. Here are some of the benefits of using a programmable thermostat.

     

    One great thing about programmable thermostats is that you can keep your house at a constant temperature. You will not have to constantly adjust the temperature of your home throughout the day with a manual thermostat. The sun moves around your home and depending on the windows it will heat your house. Having a programmable thermostats means you do not have to blast your air conditioner all day long to combat the heat. You can set it to the temperature you want and not have to worry even if you leave the house. In the winter time the temperature can fluctuate a lot. Being able to schedule the temperature of your house depending on the weather is great for your comfort and for optimizing the use of your HVAC system. Having the schedule for your thermostat saves your HVAC system from being over used. If it is running efficiently throughout the day and not just blasting to keep up with heat or cold, the appliance will last longer and work better.

     

    Probably the most commonly valued benefit of having a programmable thermostat is that it saves you money. Energy bills continue to fluctuate all over the nation and instead of trying to keep up with the energy costs you can program your air usage to optimize your financial savings. When you leave the home if you do not want to waste money keeping the temperature up you can schedule the thermostat to turn on before you get home or to hold the temperature constant while you are gone. You can program a schedule that follows your whole family’s routine based on their day-to-day activities. If you have pets, you want them to be comfortable while you are away as well and having the scheduled air usage can help you with that.

     

    Overall having a programmable thermostat is optimal for your home and easy to install.

  • Saving Energy During The Cold Months

    winter-morning-700270_960_720

    During the colder months of the year you need to keep your house at a warm enough temperature to keep everyone in your home happy. Heating costs can change with the passage of time but you should never be caught off guard. If you want to keep your crazy Santa Claus display in the front yard lit throughout the holiday season here are some things you can do to save energy and make sure your home is warm enough.

     

    Maintaining your HVAC system. Make sure to change and clean your air filters on a regular basis throughout the year to keep your system working. Especially when winter comes it is smart to keep the filters clean. If the filters are not cleaned it can slow air flow and increase the costs to heat your home. It may also be a good idea to have a professional check your heating system and give your system a seasonal check to make sure it is running properly and not unnecessarily costing you money.

     

    Fill cracks and leaks in your home. If you have drafts because of leaks in seals on windows and doors you should fill these. The process will stop hot air from leaking out. This is a waste of money and will save you a lot in the long run. Take simple steps like caulking windows, sealing leaks around chimneys and recessed lighting, and sliding draft guards under your doors and you can save up to 20 percent on heating costs.

     

    Use a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat has more automated features than a manual thermostat that you have to adjust by hand. You may be amazed at how advanced these systems can be! The advantage of programmable thermostats is that you can automatically set them to adjust the temperature in your home at certain times. More control over your home environment makes it easier to control your power bill.

     

    Use other heating means. During the day you can open the blinds and let in the sun. This will keep the house warm with natural heat so you can use our heater during the night. This will save you money if you are only using the heater half the time and will cut down on maintenance.

     

    Conclusion

     

    Cutting down the costs of heating will leave money for other holiday expenses. It will also help you keep your HVAC system running better as long as you keep up with maintenance. Hopefully these tips help you this winter season.

     

     

     

  • When to Call in the Calvary: Should You Install Your Own HVAC or Phone the Experts?

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    Installing an HVAC system on your own or with a partner may seem like the most optimal decision for you, however there are some things you must consider before attempting this task on your own. Not meeting certain requirements in the process can have legal and safety complications.

    Codes

    Heating and cooling hardware require certain codes and regulations to be satisfied when they are installed. The professionals know these codes and will do their best not to violate any of them. If you decide to do this yourself please make sure you adhere to any and all heating and cooling regulations. Failure to do so can result in improper use of the system which can cause legal ramifications especially for businesses using these systems. Small business owners should absolutely consider getting a professional to install for them to avoid business being shut down for code violations.

    Cost

    Installing a unit yourself may be more trouble than it is worth. You will need to track down a unit you want and at a price you are satisfied with. Professional installers can order directly from manufacturers usually for a break on the price you may not get. On top of the cost of buying the equipment you also have financial loss from the time it takes to complete. If you have a rigorous work schedule you will need to take time off as projects like this can last days for an inexperienced installer. This time off work also costs money and the cost may not outweigh the price of hiring a professional to do the work for you. Your hard work and time can be spent on another home project while the pros handle your heating and cooling.

    Technical Issues

    The installation process for a HVAC system is very technical. Experts go through rigorous training to make sure no mistake is made. They often go to school to learn the trade so that they do the job safely, efficiently and without invoking legal ramifications. Improper installation can lead to leaks in your system that could end up threatening your safety, not to mention the cost of paying for air you are not even getting!      

    Conclusion

    After reviewing this information it is likely that hiring a professional installer is your best bet. It is not worth the safety and legal ramifications that you could unintentionally pull down upon yourself. Bigger mistakes may even end up costing you more than you saved from doing it yourself.

  • Lower your Heating Bill with some Improvements

    Winter is coming!! Fall is already here. If you are noticing that your house doesn't hold the heat in very well, here are a few tips for you.

    Inspect and Replace your Weatherstripping

    "What's that?" you say? Well, it's the seal on all of your outside doors that prevents cold air from seeping through the cracks around your door. Over time, this stuff gets worn out, and leaks air into your home. This will cool down your house in a hurry and make your heater work overtime.

    Check and adjust your Threshold

    This is the same principle. If you can see daylight under your door, that means there is cold air coming in and hot air going out. You may need to buy a new threshold, but usually the one you have can be adjusted with the screws that old it to the floor. Simply turn them to raise the threshold slightly and close the gap.

    Find the Holes in your Exterior Walls

    Why are there holes in your walls? Well, every pipe or electrical wire that goes into your home needs a hole, and it's entirely possible that one or more of those is not insulated correctly. You can plug these gaps with expanding foam to prevent the flow of air. As a bonus, this will prevent insects and mice from getting into your walls!

    Seal your Flue

    If you have a fireplace, your chimney is very likely to be leaking heat. Even with the flue closed, it will be leaking air. To solve this problem you can get a chimney balloon, or get creative and rig something up. This is a major source of heat loss, so it will pay for itself.

    Check your Ductwork

    Homes with forced air heating can lose a significant amount of heat through leaky ductwork. Sometimes you will lose a quarter of the warm air being pushed through in useless places like the attic. Inspect it wherever you can, especially around joints, and seal it up with metallic duct tape.

    Check the Locks on your Windows

    The locks on your windows are designed to push the window into the weatherstripping and create an airtight seal. If you forgot to lock one of your windows, it will be leaking air, and costing you money.

    Upgrade your Windows

    Shy of actual leaks, the windows are the most poorly insulated part of your exterior, and will allow the most heat to escape. If you have single pane windows, you will be losing a tremendous amount of heat through them. Single pane windows conduct heat out of your house very effectively and essentially do not insulate your house at all. Double pane windows work to insulate not because there is more glass, which does not insulate effectively at all, but because there is a layer of air between the panes of glass that does not effectively conduct heat out of your home, and thus prevents heat loss.

    Upgrade to a modern double pane and you will see a significant effect.

  • Preparing your Air Conditioning Unit for Winter

    Believe it or not, your air conditioning unit isn't something to just forget about in the winter. That can cause serious problems for you down the line, which could leave you stuck with a broken unit come summer.

    That is an expensive and very uncomfortable mistake to make. Let's get to it:

    screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-3-34-03-pmTurn the unit off!

    Find the air conditioner circuit breaker by your unit, shown to the right of the unit in this picture, and turn it off. This is very important. On a relatively warm winter day, if you happen to be baking and you have a space heater running and the sun is shining fully into your windows, you could very well have your AC kick on.

    Why is that bad? Because it can cause moisture to enter your unit. Moisture that will not have time to evaporate before the outside temperature goes below freezing and night and the expansion of freezing water wrecks your unit.

    Wash your unit before temperatures hit freezing in the fall

    You need to make sure that all of the debris of the fall, bird poop, twigs, leaves, and everything else is cleaned out of the unit. Allowing that to build up inside can interfere with moving parts, and if you manage to avoid that fate, it will eventually cause the unit to overheat.

    Overheating can make it shut down, at which point it obviously isn't working, or it could ignite the debris in your unit and cause a fire, so do not ignore this.

    Cover the unit with something

    Once you clean the unit and turn it off, cover it with a vinyl covering or a well secured tarp to prevent any new debris, water, snow, or ice from finding its way into your unit. The covering must be waterproof.

    You can buy specifically designed covers for your air conditioning unit, but you can also make something else work if you're determined.

    Secure your air conditioner cover tightly with bungee cords or other means. If you fail to do this small animals may see it as a safe and cozy place to hide in the winter, and they may not all make it out in the spring. Having a dead mouse in your air conditioning unit is not something you want to have to deal with when you turn on your air conditioner the first time in the spring.

    Be sure to check the unit regularly, especially after storms, to make sure that the cover remains in place all winter.

    Windows Units

    If you have a window unit, the easiest thing to do is simply remove the unit and store it in your house or in a shed.

    Windows units also do not generally provide a good seal, which causes cold air to leak in all winter if they are not removed, which has a significant impact on your heating bill.

    Be kind to the environment and to your wallet by taking it out.

    Follow these tips to prevent damage to your your air conditioning unit and it will last you much longer.

  • 5 Common Heater Fixes

    If your furnace breaks this winter, reading this little article might save you a lot of money. Before you call a professional, you should know that the most common causes for a breakdown in a furnace are actually easy fixes that any average person can attend to.

    Professionals often get called out to attend to problems that only take a few minutes and sometimes no hardware to fix. They then still need to charge you for their driving time, and whatever the minimum service charge is, leaving you out hundreds of dollars for a problem that you could have fixed just as quickly yourself.

    Here are 5 things to check before you call:

    Is it turned on everywhere that it needs to be?

    This is actually the most common problem that a service person gets called out for.

    1. Check your breaker to make sure that the heater has power.
    2. Check for a wall switch that needs to be turned on.
    3. Make sure the front panel of the heater covering the blower motor is fully in place, as heaters have a fail-safe switch that needs to be fully pressed in for the furnace to operate.


    Change your filters

    screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-1-35-38-pmIf your filters are clogged, you will have restricted airflow and it will cause overheating that can trigger a safety shut-off. Heater filters are inexpensive and should be changed every month during heavy use.

    Read your owner's manual to find out where your filter is and how to replace it.

    Warning! : Always make sure that the furnace is shut off before you change the filter.

    Check to see if your gas is on

    You may have forgotten to open the valve to get gas to your furnace. Check the gas lines between your furnace and the meter, you'll find a lever somewhere. Turn it so that it is parallel with the pipe.

    If you have an old furnace, you may also need to make sure that your pilot light is lit.

    Check your ductwork

    screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-1-35-48-pmIf you simply aren't getting heat in one or two rooms, you probably either have a blocked duct, or a hole in your ducts where the warm air is escaping.

    Check the portions you can access, and if you find any holes, patch them up using metallic duct tape. Regular duct tape will deteriorate quickly, so make sure you use the metallic type.

    If you find any blockages, clear them out.

    Check your intake and exhaust vents

    Your heating system draws air from the outside. If those vents are clogged with leaves or debris, your heater will not work properly.

    Check your thermostat

    Believe it or not, many calls also come in from people who simply didn't set their thermostat from cool to heat. Make sure that the thermostat has power, and that the correct settings are entered. This may require changing a battery.

    ____

    With these 5 tips, you may be able to save yourself hundreds of dollars this winter, so take your destiny into your own hands a little bit and make sure your issue isn't something embarrassingly simple that you will regret having to spend money on.

  • Heat Pump Replacement: How to Tell Your Heat Pump Needs Replacing

    Heat pump replacement Heat pump replacement

    Heat pumps allow thermal energy to move against its impulsive flow direction by applying heat absorption within a cold space and then continue movement to a warmer space. A heat pump is a mechanical device that can break down and likely needs to be replaced. Your HVAC system does not need to stop functioning completely for you to think about replacing any part of it. You will notice warning signs that will alert you when it comes time for a heat pump replacement.

    Taking Steps

    If your heat pump stops functioning altogether, then the next step is to get a replacement. However, in the meantime, there are signs that you can look for in order to consider replacing your heat pump before it completely breaks down. Let’s take a closer look at this.

    Constant Heat Pump Repairs

    If your heat pump is constantly breaking down and having to be repaired, you may have to look at heat pump replacement. In fact, if it breaks down several times within the same year, this is a sign that replacement should be the next step. If repair costs are too high, then this may call for purchasing an entire HVAC system or just a heat pump, depending on how much you will save. When your heat pump breaks down at a time that it is needed the most, then it can cause so many inconveniences. Therefore, it is wise to make sure that you hire a professional HVAC contractor to inspect your system before the weather becomes cold.

    Abnormal Noises

    If you hear abnormal noises coming from your HVAC system, it may be time for heat pump replacement. All mechanical devices are designed to operate smoothly with no internal resistance or too much friction. With abnormal noises coming from the heat pump, you may have loose parts and components that have started to wear down. A professional HVAC technician will assess the situation, tracing the specific parts or components that may be loosened. This includes:

    • Depleted motors
    • Vents
    • Defective ductwork
    • Dirty filters

    The moving parts may be able to be repaired. However, if nothing changes after the repair, it may be time for a new heat pump replacement. This is the more permanent solution.

    Increased Energy Consumption

    If you notice that your energy bill is steadily increasing and you are still operating the same number of mechanical devices and appliances in your home, this could point toward energy being lost somewhere. The only time you should see an increase in energy consumption is when you add a new appliance. A professional HVAC contractor will be able to determine the cause of the increase and if the heat pump is the cause, a replacement should be done.

    Conclusion

    If you have had your heat pump for a number of years, it may be the time for a heat pump replacement. A professional HVAC contractor will assess and make the appropriate recommendations of how long you should keep your heat pump before doing an upgrade.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ecolivinguk/8019127396/

  • Top Reasons to Pay Attention to your Heating System During the Summer?

    Heating System Heating System

    In every season, you should expect to have HVAC maintenance carried out in order to have your cooling and heating system working efficiently. Bear in mind, though, it does not mean that you have to focus your attention on your air conditioner unit in the summer months and the heating system in the winter. It is important to take the appropriate care of your HVAC system throughout the whole year so that it will always operate to its full capacity.

    Summer Preparation

    Yes, you may be hanging out on the beach during the summer and a heater is the farthest thing from your mind. Yet, you cannot wait until the winter is upon you before taking care of your furnace or other heating system. The season may arrive and that is when you discover problems with your heating system. It is better to approach a season, being confident that everything inside your home is working properly. Below are some of the top reasons why you cannot afford to neglect your heater during the summer.

    Don’t Regret Your Decision

    If you need to have a heater repair done as the winter comes to a close or if the heater is providing warning signals of malfunction, you may need a new heater. For this reason, you should not ignore the signs. If you don’t take immediate action, you may regret your decision. You should not wait to schedule a repair at the last minute. If so, you may be put on a waiting list and who wants to go through winter without a functional heating system? The HVAC technician needs time to inspect the situation and conduct the necessary repairs so that you can be comfortable during the winter months.

    Advanced Maintenance

    One of the things to prevent being an uncomfortable situation is putting your HVAC maintenance on a schedule with a HVAC contractor. Therefore, try to have a healthy heating system at all times by frequent maintenance. There are various tasks that are involved with furnace maintenance and some of these include cleaning dirt and dust, inspecting the air flow, lubrication of moving parts, and thermostat testing. Doing this in the summer makes you prepared for the winter.

    Heat Pump

    Heat pumps are generally used both in the winter and in the summertime. If you do not have your heat pump repaired, then the choice will also affect your air conditioner unit. You will be switching your system to cooling during the summer, but that doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore any heating issues until the winter.

    Proper Ventilation

    Both heating system and cooling system utilize the same ventilation to function, especially when your system uses forced air. For this reason, you have to keep the air ducts clean, not only to improve air quality, but also to prevent this from negatively impacting your HVAC system’s efficiency. When you have problems with your heating system, it can also result in an increase in your summer’s energy bill.

    Conclusion

    Be sure that you change your air filters on a frequent basis, even during the summer. Contact a HVAC contractor or HVAC technician today to schedule an overall check on your heating system and cooling system.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13118275535/

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