No one likes to deal with repairs or even maintenance on their HVAC system, but the reality is if you fail to get check-ups you could very well end up with a bigger bill down the line. In fact, the likelihood of your unit breaking down if you don’t get it serviced is very real indeed.
Down below we take a closer look at which parts will break down if you don’t get your HVAC serviced on a regular basis. Here are the five most common things that will break in your home unit if you opt to not have your HVAC serviced on a regularly recommended schedule.
- Poor Ventilation
Your ventilation system relies heavily on constant maintenance of your unit. A dirty filter can quickly turn into a serious air quality problem if left untreated. The longer that air filter stays clogged, the greater likelihood of your entire unit being effected. This could even eventually lead to total unit failure. The only way to manage this is through preventative maintenance.
- Belt breakage
As your HVAC unit ages, things such as belts wear down and can eventually break down your motor and leave your unit ineffective. If a belt breaks or a motor component locks up, you’ll end up calling a repair person to come cure your issue. However, if you choose maintenance your costs will be far lower than if and when your parts break. Technicians are much more aware of any issues that your HVAC may have and can help guide you towards the best maintenance care.
- Blower Motor
A blower motor that is broken down due to a broken belt or bearings, can lead to a complete breakdown of the unit. The blower motor effects your entire unit and can also reduce your airflow dramatically. Often that is the first symptom of this issue. With a quick check-up, however, a technician can identify the problem and get it back to working in no time.
- Condensation drain leakage or breakage
When your condensation drain is broken, backed up, or simply not flowing properly the result can be catastrophic. If the drain is clogged, you can fully expect your unit to run poorly and fail to restart on its own. Humidity extraction is a critical component to any efficient air conditioner system. Maintenance can effectively reduce or prevent any serious issues from arising. Without getting the right assistance, however, the broken down drain can create a more serious problem that eventually leads to a broken unit.
- Refrigerant Line
If your refrigerant line is not insulated or poorly insulated it can result in a frozen unit. This line runs from the outside of your unit into your home, and is crucial to ensuring your home stays cool during those hot summer days. Any missing or damaged insulation needs to be repaired quickly to keep your unit in check. Regular maintenance can prevent any damage by ensuring your unit is properly insulated.
The good news is that regular inspections can prevent any of the issues mentioned above, thereby preventing any expensive repair costs.
If you know someone in the heating and air business, you may have heard them mention geothermal heat pumps. While they may just sound like another heating/cooling system among the hundreds of flashy sounding options, Geothermal heat has become a resource which can cut down your utility bills up to 70%!
What is geothermal heat?
Geothermal heat is the constant temperature range produced in the earth. Despite the constantly changing weather outside, underground the earth maintains higher temperatures from absorbed sun rays.
How do geothermal heat pumps work?
Geothermal heat pumps work similar to regular heat pumps with a few differences:
- ‘Loops’ of pipes containing a water solution are buried underground, and connected to your heat pump system. These can be installed horizontally or vertically in the ground near your home.
- Using the water heater in tandem, heat is either extracted or exited through these loops, and ventilated through your home. It isn’t generating heat, but is instead moving the underground temperature around to facilitate your needs.
Compare this to how regular heat pumps work:
- Air based heat pumps are just as sophisticated in technology to ground based. To sum up how an air based heat pump works: Heat is energy, and when a material changes from one state to another (liquid to gas or vice versa), it absorbs or disperses energy around it as needed. Heat pumps utilize this basic method with a compressor, and once energy has been gathered, disperses it throughout your home as needed.
- When the desired effect is cooling, the process is reversed, and the heat is shifted out of your home through the same process of absorbing and dispersing energy.
How is a geothermal heat pump better than a regular heat pump?
- Geothermal heat is energy efficient/green – as the heat is being pulled from a natural resource, the system doesn’t have to work as hard as an outdoor unit.
- Cost is reduced – With less energy being used, your utility cost will virtually torpedo downward to a fraction of what you were paying before
- Runs more quietly – a geothermal heat pump has a less noisy mechanism than a regular heat pump.
- Installed inside your home – this means less repairs and maintenance from weather.
As always, it’s best to consult a geothermal heating and cooling savannah professional for an insight to what heating/cooling system would serve you best!
Has your HVAC system stopped working correctly, or shown signs of needing repairs?
Maybe you’re a little tight on cash this week, and can’t afford to call the repairman at the drop of a hat. Can you fix it yourself, or should you pick up the phone?
The good news is there are some steps you can take in repairing/maintaining your HVAC system yourself which will often help significantly. The bad news is that past these steps, repair of your system can become dangerous to untrained people. It’s because of this we want to include this warning:
Do not try to repair or work on your HVAC system beyond these steps! Call a professional. A visit from your local specialist is always cheaper than a personal injury!
- Examine Your Thermostat: Replace the batteries in your thermostat, and test it by setting it ten degrees colder or warmer than the outdoor temperature. This can be an important small fix, as your thermostat is the brain telling your HVAC when to work.
- Check The Circuit Breaker: It is possible that power is not getting to your HVAC system because of a tripped circuit. Flip the switch, and check the master switches on the inside and outside units to make sure they’re receiving electricity. (Even if flipping the switch works, we suggest you consult an HVAC specialist. Most will be willing to explain why the circuit is being tripped.)
- Press The System Reset Button: Resetting the unit can fix some minor mechanical hiccups which could cause the system to act irregularly. It can be surprising how useful this step is!
- Change Your Filter: Dirt build up in the return vent of the HVAC system can cause issues for the device and waste money while the machine is working harder to regulate the temperature.
- Clean Up Around The Unit: Clear anything that could be obstructing airflow; grass, ice, as these can have the same difficulties as the step above. You can even buy a commercial grade coil cleaner, but remember, do not open the unit! Working inside the casing could cause damage to both the unit and yourself!
- Moving The Furniture: It’s important to make sure that vents are also not blocked or obstructed from passing air from one place to another. It’s pretty common to have a vent under your couch that you don’t know about, so investigate!
So you’ve tried all these things, and nothing’s changed! Your unit is still working poorly or not working at all. Well, at this point, it’s time to call a professional.
Remember to take note of all the symptoms of your dysfunctioning unit for the service-man to get the problem solved as quickly as possible, and always remember to perform maintenance in between repairs!
As we approach the winter season, everyone should take some time to prepare their furnace for the upcoming cold weather. Although you might not turn your furnace on for another month or two, you can take a couple of proactive steps to make sure that it is in tip top shape.
Begin by performing a quick inspection of your heating system. Take a walk around the furnace and look for signs of wear and tear. If any objects are within two feet or less of the machine or its ducts, move them far away to prevent damage. Make sure that the pilot light is lit.
Take the time to schedule a furnace tune up. If you’ve noticed any damage during your inspection, an HVAC professional will be able to further diagnose the problem when he is on site for the tune up. When he’s preparing your system for its heavy winter workload, he’ll also perform his own inspection and examine the unit for malfunctions and any grime that might alter its functionality. Once your system is tuned up, you’ll be able to ease into the winter without any concerns about its ability to heat your home.
Be sure to take a look at your system’s air filter. Make sure that it is completely clean and in place. The filter is key to your furnace’s health and functionality as it is a safeguard against dust and dirt that could infiltrate the system. If the filter looks dirty, do not hesitate to replace it. The little bit of money that you would save by keeping the old filter in place isn’t worth the risk that it poses to your furnace’s ability to efficiently heat your home with high quality air.
Interested in Scheduling a Furnace Inspection and Service?
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Air conditioning systems are expensive, so once an investment is made it’s important to care for it properly.
Regularly scheduled maintenance will keep it running at its highest efficiency. Not only it this important for the health of an HVAC system, but it’s also important for a family’s health.
Changing HVAC Filters
One of the most important things people can do is to change their air conditioner filters monthly. Why? Because when these filters are dirty, the air that’s circulated through them isn’t as clean as it should be. This promotes excess dust and could cause respiratory problems, especially for those with health conditions like asthma. Continued use of dirty filters will cause dust mites to collect in air ducts and contaminants to circulate in the home.
It’s also important to keep hvac drain lines clean. This is usually performed by a maintenance technician. When an air conditioner pushes cold air into the home, it’s normal for condensation to accumulate which drains through several tubes to direct excess drainage outside.
Without regular attention, these drains can become clogged and foster an environment for the growth of mold and fungus. This can end up in the entire drainage system. Before that happens, it best to periodically keep an eye on the unit. Just ask the HVAC technician what to look for.
There are other maintenance guidelines for keeping air conditioners running at its best and keeping repairs at a minimum. Spending money on a low-cost plan will give most a peace of mind and will eventually pay for itself.
During the late spring and summer seasons, many people can experience an increase in allergy symptoms, for those with regular allergy problems this tends to be the worst season for flare ups. This is due to the increase of pollen in the air. It is nearly impossible to escape air-born allergies, but you can limit your exposure to allergies with a few simple tips.
Avoid high pollen count
The pollen count and other allergens are highest during days that are dry, breezy, or just really warm. Limit outdoor activity to early mornings, evenings, and windless days. Stay indoors when possible with windows closed, especially on windy days.
Run the air conditioner and use a HEPA filter
Avoid the urge to “air out” the house. Keep your windows and doors closed when your allergies are bothering you. Use the air conditioner to keep the temperature cool. Invest in a high-efficiency particulate accumulator filter, known as a HEPA filter, that will remove most of the pollen from the air. In addition, portable devices that can be used in individual rooms are especially helpful in reducing animal allergens. McCalls offers regular air conditioning service plans that includes regular inspection of filters and systems. You can read about our air conditioner service plans here.
Use and maintain the air conditioner in your car
While driving with the windows or top down can be appealing for warmer months, it is a sure way to induce allergy symptoms. When out during the day avoid having the windows down while in the car. Run the air conditioner and use the “re-circulate” setting. Make sure you have the car serviced regularly to remove any mold or dust that may form in the system.
Get some relief with nasal spray
To help with the relief of allergies, keep nasal spray with you. Cleanse your nose out periodically. Many sprays are available over the counter at local stores. Allergy medications are also available for those that tend to suffer daily with severe allergies. Decongestants and antihistamines can relieve symptoms but consult a doctor before use.
Dealing with Indoor allergens
Keep indoor allergens at a minimum and keep your home comfortable. Besides running the air conditioning, take a few more steps. Use a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. If there are pets in the house, keep them well groomed. Avoid irritants such as chemicals that can worsen airborne allergy symptoms during flare-ups. These include insect sprays, tobacco smoke, air pollution, and fresh paint.