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5 HVAC Questions Our Technicians Get ALL the Time

 

Throughout our 35+ years of service to Grass Valley and the surrounding communities, we often find ourselves answering the same questions about HVAC systems over and over again. No matter what type of home you have and what your heating and cooling needs are, it is important to keep your HVAC system working properly and running efficiently to keep your family healthy and comfortable. Today, we are going to answer some of your questions about HVAC maintenance and repair.

5 Common HVAC Questions Answered

Over our years of experience, we have put together a list of the 5 most common HVAC questions we get from our customers:

1. How often should I change or clean my air filters?

This is probably the question that we get most often. Some people change their filter at the start of each season, while others replace it once every month. The best answer to this question is that you should change your air filter when it is dirty. The frequency depends on a number of factors including the type of air filter, home air quality, pets, number of people in your family, and the level of outdoor pollutants and allergens in the area. To keep your system running efficiently, check your filters once a month and change them when they become dirty or clogged.

2. How often do I need to have my HVAC system serviced?

Your HVAC unit is a mechanical device with a motor and electrical components that require routine maintenance. Just like an automobile, your HVAC system needs to be serviced regularly to keep it running smoothly and working efficiently. If you do not have your system serviced regularly, you may experience complications and the unit may become less energy-efficient overtime. Aim for an annual tune-up where an HVAC expert will clean and lubricate your HVAC system components to keep your system working effectively year-round.

3. Why is my AC unit freezing up?

This is a common problem that homeowners face. There are many different reasons why you may be experiencing a frozen AC unit. As a homeowner you can make sure that the air filter is clean or replaced and the airflow is not restricted. Beyond that, you will need to call an HVAC professional to diagnose and fix the issue. Some potential issues that may be causing your AC unit to freeze up are low refrigerant, a dirty evaporator coil, or a defective blower motor or relay, all of which can be diagnosed and fixed by an HVAC technician.

4. Do I need to purchase an indoor air quality system (humidifier, dehumidifier, air purifier)?

No two homes or comfort levels are exactly the same. The answer to this question really depends on the needs of the individual and their family. Whole-house humidifiers can help reduce moisture for homes in humid climates while humidifiers can help add moisture to homes in dryer climates. As for air purifiers, they can be beneficial to those who have severe allergies or asthma, but it depends on the person’s threshold for irritants and allergy triggers.

5. How can I increase the efficiency and life of my HVAC system?

There are many ways that you can increase the energy-efficiency and longevity of your HVAC system. One of the best ways to increase energy efficiency is by adjusting your thermostat to a temperature closer to outdoor temperatures when you are not home and using the space. You should also make sure that your home is well-insulated and you are replacing or cleaning your air filters regularly so that your HVAC system is not working harder than it has to.

Have a question that we didn’t cover? Contact us today for help with your heating and cooling concerns.

Installation and Maintenance of HVAC Coils

Ensuring Proper Installation

The first step in making sure that your HVAC coil is installed properly is to use a reputable and professional company, like us here at Brewer Refrigeration. After that, it all comes down to the technician following standard procedure for installing the coil. Such as using appropriate soldering or brazing techniques and pulling a vacuum in the line to be sure that it is not going to leak any refrigerant. This is a job for a trained professional and should not be attempted as a DIY project.

Maintaining Your HVAC Coils

The second most important thing in making sure your coils run efficiently and smoothly is proper maintenance of them. This is something a homeowner can do if they wish, or it can be a part of a maintenance agreement.

Maintaining the coils in an HVAC system comes down to keeping them clean and free of any dust or debris buildup. On a split system, the condenser coil is going to be the one that is most easily reached by a homeowner for basic maintenance. Cleaning this coil is pretty straight-forward and should be done at least once a year.

First, pull the disconnect from the power box either mounted on the condenser unit itself, or on the wall nearby, flip it over so “off” reads right-side up, and reinsert it. This will keep power from going to the unit and it turning on while you’re maintaining it.

Next, remove any debris from around the outside of the condenser box. Next, take a garden hose and thoroughly spray down all sides of the unit and wash off any small debris. Using a coil cleaning agent, spray down each side of the condenser coil, being sure to get in between the fins.

Once that has set for the time according to directions, spray it off again with the hose and then reconnect the disconnect. Lastly, use a fin comb to straighten any bent fins.

By using this simple maintenance method at least once a year, your coil will function efficiently and trouble free every season. Follow the Brewer Refrigeration blog to stay informed on how to maintain your HVAC system.

Do I Need Maintenance For My Heating And Cooling System?

HVAC maintenance is an important part of protecting your system from premature failure. According to research done by Energy Star, neglect and dirt are the no #1 cause of HVAC failure. Just like any other mechanical equipment, heating and cooling systems require regular maintenance to operate at peak performance. Here are some of the reasons that make maintenance essential to heating and cooling systems.

 

Energy Efficiency

Heating and cooling systems use up a lot of energy in order to keep your home comfortable. Without proper maintenance, these systems will not only cost you hundreds in repair and replacement, but will also increase energy bills. Properly maintained systems can reduce energy costs by up to 40%.

 

Comfort

The reason you installed a HVAC system in your house in the first place was to make the air in your home comfortable. It would be useless to spend any money on energy bills for a unit that doesn’t deliver the exact levels of comfort you require. A badly maintained heating and cooling system will not deliver the desired indoor air quality and will cost you more on energy bills.

 

Life Span

Performing regular maintenance tasks to your system will not only save you money on bills but will also extend your unit’s life span. This will have, in the long run, saved you a lot of money on repair and replacement.

 

Cost Effective

Compared to the amount of money you would pay to repair or replace a damaged heating and cooling system, the money spent on regular maintenance is far less. On average, you will spend about $150 on yearly HVAC maintenance. You will spend even less if you go for multi-year contracts with a particular company.

 

Safety

When a technician performs maintenance tasks to your unit, they will tighten loose electrical connections, measure current and voltage and replace worn out components of your unit. This will not only improve the unit’s operation but also minimize risk of injury caused by damaged systems. Loose connections can easily start a fire which can be destructive or even fatal.

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The Importance Of HVAC Maintenance

When you built your home, you always pictured it to be the most comfortable, the safest and most secure place for you and your family to come home to everyday. This is why you need to make sure that all the structures and systems are functioning as they should. One of the most important elements of your home is your HVAC system. An HVAC system that functions properly will keep your family warm and toasty during the winter season and cool and comfortable during the hot summer season.

Why should you maintain your HVAC system?

A newly installed HVAC system runs smoothly at all times. However, the longer you use it, the more it tends to malfunction. A malfunctioning heater during the coldest winter nights is going to make you miserable. This is the reason why you need to maintain your HVAC system properly.

There are several other reasons why you need to maintain a proper upkeep on your HVAC system.

First, a properly functioning HVAC system allows you to significantly lower your utility bills. A system that runs efficiently results to a home that is well insulated. This means that you get to save on your electricity expenses as well as your heating and cooling costs. In addition to that, you would also require lesser repairs on a system that is properly maintained.

Second, an excellent HVAC system helps provide great quality indoor air for you and your family to breathe. Remember that if you have an unmaintained unit, it could be a breeding ground for bacteria, dirt and mold leading to unhealthy air in the home and respiratory problems for your loved ones.

Third, a unit that runs properly is more efficient and reliable. Studies show that unmaintained HVAC units have to work 20 percent harder compared to units that are functioning well to be able to produce the same amount of cooling or heating. This is also one of the reasons why your electricity bills can skyrocket to unimaginable prices.

A healthy home starts with a properly maintained HVAC unit. Prolong the lifespan of your investment, breathe good quality indoor air and avoid the hassles of emergency repairs simply by maintaining your unit well. Do not wait a minute longer. Call us today to schedule your HVAC maintenance checkup.

Protect Your Entire Home From Power Surges

Do you know how well your electronics are protected from power surges? If not, it might be time to become concerned because a strong surge of voltage can render your home appliances useless. Inner electronic parts are sensitive and are not capable of handling high voltage surges. Most homes have Home Power Surge Protection equipment installed inside the breaker box.

There are several things that can cause a power surge in your home. Generally an external power surge is caused by lightning, accidents, and other things that interfere with power lines. Internal surges are caused by appliances, faulty wiring or issues with wires that are not grounded properly.

Internal surges are also caused by large appliances such as boilers, air conditioners, furnaces, refrigerators, and other large appliances. When these large appliances turn on they require a lot of energy. This energy is dumped back into the electric lines when the appliance turns off, and as a result the sensitive electrical components are slowly worn down and damaged. You can protect your valuable electronic appliances by installing additional surge protection.

A lot of homeowners think that their whole house surge protection is enough because most are rated to stop up to 50,000 amps. This is not enough though, quite often surges are strong enough to break through that protector and damage sensitive electronics. Lightning is usually the culprit when the whole home surge protector fails.

There are two additional devices you can install that will help prevent internal and external surges from damaging your televisions, computers, as well as costly HVAC equipment. Electricians and HVAC specialists recommend that homeowners install a surge protector electric outlet where large appliances will be plugged in. It is also recommended that a power strip is used to plug in sensitive electronics like computers and televisions.

One way to find out how to better Protect Your Home Utilities is to schedule a test on your home’s total electrical grounding system. You can have this system checked out during your regular HVAC Maintenance visit. The technician will also make sure that all of your surge protection devices are functioning properly. Contact your favorite HVAC contractor today and schedule a home grounding system test to make sure your expensive electronics are protected to the hilt.