Summertime AC Issues? The Do’s and Don’ts of What to Do Next

Did your central AC system suddenly stop cooling your home? If your air conditioner breaks down in the middle of a summertime heatwave, look at the dos and don’ts of AC repair.

Do Call an HVAC Professional

Suppose you don’t have extensive expertise in air conditioner repair. In that case, you need to call an HVAC professional when your system stops working. Whether your AC unit blows warm air through the vents, won’t turn on, takes too long to cool your home, or has another issue, hire a licensed HVAC contractor to:

  • Inspect your system. What is the culprit behind your AC’s issues? If you can’t answer this question, you need to contact a qualified contractor to inspect your air conditioner. The technician will assess the coil, condenser, refrigerant line, and other system parts.
  • Diagnose the problem. After the inspection, the technician will diagnose the issue. While you may not understand the technical jargon, the AC contractor can break down the basics as they explain what’s wrong with your home’s cooling system.
  • Provide you with an estimate. How much will the repairs or replacement cost? A qualified contractor should provide you with a written estimate. The estimate should include the per hour rate or job cost, materials cost, and applicable fees.
  • Complete the repair or installation. After you agree to the estimate, the technician will complete the necessary repairs or install a replacement (if a repair isn’t possible).

The sooner you call the HVAC contractor, the better. A long wait between when you notice the initial problem and when you finally contact the contractor could result in additional issues.

Don’t Wait to Call the HVAC Professional.

What types of issues can a delayed service cause? For example, even though the summer swelter may suddenly end, you swap out AC use for fans, or you put off a service call for another reason, failure to schedule a prompt appointment could result in:

  • Discomfort. Your AC system provides a valuable service — it keeps your home cool. However, if you wait days or weeks after your AC system fails, you’ll need to sweat your way through the hottest days of the summer.
  • Damage. A system that blows warm air makes loud noises, has odd odors, doesn’t work correctly, and requires a repair. Failure to promptly repair the system could result in significant damage or excessive wear and tear.
  • Excess energy usage. A damaged or worn AC system may use more energy to cool your home. The result is an increase in electricity bills or related operating costs.
  • Invalidation of a warranty. Does your warranty have time frame restrictions? For example, suppose the warranty requires you to schedule professionally done repairs within a specific period or only extends to a particular month and year. In that case, you may need to pay out of pocket for repairs.

Along with these issues, the HVAC contractor might not have high availability for mid-summer appointments — especially during the peak heat of the season.

Do Keep Cool While You Wait

Even though you may have called the contractor the moment your AC system turned itself off or started blowing hot air, the HVAC service provider possibly won’t have an immediate appointment. Again, peak heat season is often a tricky time to schedule AC services. You may have to wait hours or days between overworked systems, excessive wear and tear, and new installations.

While you wait, avoid heat-related discomfort or illnesses and:

  • Use fans. Provided your home has electricity and plug-in fans. Only use fans in rooms you will use. This reduces overall energy usage and may lower your temporary fan-related cooling costs.
  • Close window treatments. Reduce the effects of the sun on your home—close blinds or curtains during the day to reduce sun-related home heat gain.
  • Open windows. Let the breeze in. Open windows that aren’t in direct sun. Always use screens to keep insects or other pests out.
  • Don’t cook indoors. The oven-baked meal you plan to make can heat your home. If possible, make cold meals or cook outdoors on a grill.
  • Hydrate well. After you take steps to cool your home, cool yourself with a cold glass of water. Hydration is crucial on a hot summer day.

If your home won’t cool effectively or feel uncomfortable, leave and go to a friend’s or family member’s house.

Don’t Attempt a DIY Repair.

Should you fix your home’s AC issue yourself? If the service technician can’t schedule an immediate appointment or you think you’ll save money with a do-it-yourself repair, consider:

  • Your experience level. An online DIY tutorial doesn’t provide the same degree of training a qualified professional has. If you’re an HVAC novice, leave this job to a professional.
  • Your warranty. A manufacturer’s warranty may only cover repairs made by authorized service professionals.
  • Your safety. Failure to properly repair an HVAC unit puts your or your family’s safety at risk.

Not only does the HVAC contractor have experience in air conditioning repairs, but the technician can also help you to decide if your system requires replacement.

Do you need an HVAC service call? Contact Derek Sawyer’s Heating & Air Conditioning for more information.

6 Ways to Maintain Your HVAC System With a Pet

Pet dander, pet hair, and even pet urine can greatly impact your home’s HVAC system. Without proper maintenance, your HVAC system could burn out faster than expected because of your pet. If you’re a pet owner and a homeowner, here’s what you need to do to take care of your HVAC system.

1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly

The air filter is one of the most useful tools for cleaning the air that flows through your ducts. Your HVAC air filter can remove hair, dander, allergens, and other particles that impact your home’s indoor air quality. Failure to replace your HVAC air filter when the air filter is dirty can force your HVAC system to work harder than necessary to do its job.

Since you own pets, you might need to replace your HVAC filter more often than if you didn’t. So check on the air filter regularly, and replace it when it starts to look dirty.

2. Keep Your Dog Away From the Condenser

Dogs like to pick their favorite spots to urinate in the yard. Unfortunately, suppose your dog’s favorite spot happens to be the air conditioner condenser. This could cause the condenser to become corroded and rusty because dog urine is slightly acidic.

The best way to ensure that your dog does not urinate on the condenser is to keep your dog away from the unit. To do this, you can install a fence around your condenser. Keep the fence at least two feet away from the condenser to ensure that the condenser has proper airflow.

If the fence is closer to the condenser, install a chain-link fence that allows airflow around the condenser. Failure to allow airflow around the condenser could cause it to work too hard. It could ultimately lead to a prematurely broken air conditioner.

3. Clean Ducts Regularly

You’ve probably noticed that pet dander has a way of settling in your carpet, on your upholstery, and under the bed. But did you also know that pet dander can blanket the inside of your air ducts? This can have a serious impact on your indoor air quality. When your ducts are dirty, running your HVAC system will make your home dirty too.

In addition, dirty ducts can cause your air filter to become dirty faster than normal. Cleaning your ducts regularly can help you maintain an efficient HVAC system and prevent your HVAC’s air filter from getting prematurely dirty.

Not sure if your air ducts need to be cleaned? You can tell by removing the vent cover from a duct and peering inside. You’ll also know that your ducts are extra dirty if your home gets dusty when the HVAC system is running.

4. Bathe Your Pet and Clean Your House Often

Keeping a clean house will help keep the pet dander out of your home’s air ducts and thus out of the HVAC system. Dust regularly, vacuum regularly and sweep your floors often. Wash your pet’s bed covering when you notice that it’s covered in hair.

Bathe your pet regularly to prevent dander and pet hair from floating around the air in your home. Comb or brush your pet’s hair and remove hair from your pet’s grooming brush regularly.

Too much bathing can dry out your pet’s skin. Talk to your pet’s veterinarian to find out how often you can bathe your pet without worry. If your pet has sensitive skin, cut back on baths and brush your pet’s fur more often.

5. Seal Your Ducts

Holes in your home’s ducts can lead to an unintentional exchange of air, which could lead your ducts to become dirty on the inside. Sealing the ducts can prevent this from happening. You can seal minor duct leaks yourself using duct mastic. To do this task, inspect the ducts in the attic and basement or crawl space of your house. Install mastic in all places where the ducts are cracked, and the inside is exposed.

Do not use duct tape despite the name, as it tends to fall apart quickly. If you don’t feel comfortable sealing your ducts, contact an HVAC professional to have it done for you.

6. Get Regular Tune-Ups

Getting your HVAC system tuned up regularly can help ensure that pet hair and dander are periodically cleaned out from the system. Your HVAC professional will check the system’s efficiency, remove any allergens and pet debris, and let you know if your HVAC system needs any repairs.

If you have questions about how you can maintain your HVAC system, contact Derek Sawyer’s Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll be happy to answer your questions or help you with any HVAC problems you have.

Holiday HVAC Tips

The holidays are fast approaching, which means one thing: family gatherings. Aside from all the food, drinks, and other fun you’ll be having this year, there’s one more thing to consider. That’s right; you need to start thinking about your HVAC system! There’s nothing more critical to your guests’ comfort than your home’s heating system. After all, it’s hard to enjoy your holiday dinner in -30° weather without your heater running full blast. For this reason, you need to make sure that your HVAC system is in good and working order long before your relatives come knocking on your door.

Not sure where to start? Well, then follow these few simple tips from the HVAC experts at Derek Sawyers and get your system into shape today!

Replace Your Air Filter

If you regularly replace your air filter, congratulations ahead of the game. However, if you’re like most people, chances are you haven’t replaced any air filters all year. Well, now is a great time to take care of this piece of maintenance. A new air filter will help improve airflow in your home and reduce the amount of dust and allergens in your air. The last thing you want this year is for anyone to start sneezing up a storm.

Some filters can even capture viruses and help keep your guests safe from otherwise nasty colds or other illnesses. That means a new air filter isn’t just an investment in the health of your guests; it can help you stay healthy all year round. Plus, now is an excellent time to replace your filter and start the New Year with clean, fresh air.

Clean House

It may not entirely be spring yet, but the holiday season is a great time to start tidying your home. A cleaner home reduces indoor air pollutants and makes it easier to breathe even without filtering your air. That’s right, cleaning up all of the dust, pet dander, and other allergens can have a profound impact on your home’s air quality!

More importantly, cleaning your HVAC system can have an even higher impact on the air inside your home! Removing all of those same allergens from your ducts ensures that they’ll never make it into your air, to begin with, and cleaning the vents help air flow freely throughout your home!

Fix Air Gaps

Gaps in your air ducts are practically inevitable, but you don’t have to live with them. Any company offering professional HVAC services can help you seal up existing gaps and point out issues that may lead to new ones forming. Your newly sealed vents will thank you not only with more effective temperature control but lower energy costs too! Just make sure to call your local HVAC professional early in the year, as this process can take a fair amount of time for technicians to complete.

Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Chances are, you’ll have more than one heating appliance running this holiday season. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure the integrity of your fire protection equipment like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You might even want to make sure your fire extinguishers aren’t past their expiration date. This way, you’ll be ready for whatever accident comes your way this holiday season.

Keep Your Thermostat Close…

The holidays are a time of temperature extremes. Snow may be falling outdoors, but you could quickly be roasting inside your home if you’re not watching your thermostat closely. That’s why you need to be sure you’re always closely watching the climate around you. If your kitchen is operating at full capacity, then chances are you won’t need to run your furnace or other heating appliances quite as hard. Likewise, you might need to run your system extra hard in the morning if your guests stay the night. The name of the game here is to be aware of your surroundings and react accordingly to keep your guests comfortable.

…And Your HVAC Repair Service Closer!

Chances are, you’ll run into an HVAC problem you can’t solve sooner rather than later. It’ll pay to know a repair company that will help you set things right when this time comes. An excellent company can even help you plan for and take care of the other items on this list! If you take nothing else from this list, at least take this, a good HVAC service provider can help you prepare for the holidays better than you ever could on your own.

So, what are you waiting for? Not sure where to go? Why not start will a call to the service professionals from Derek Sawyers? Well, give you the best service for your HVAC system and help you ensure the comfort and safety of your guests this winter! Get in contact with your local HVAC team today and get started on getting your system ready for the coming holidays.

HVAC Upgrades That Help You Save

No matter where you are in the Central Valley, you know your HVAC system can take a big bite out of your wallet. This fact is especially true since HVAC usage makes up nearly half of your home’s annual energy consumption. All it takes is a month of sweltering or freezing temperatures to make your monthly heating and cooling costs skyrocket. This temperature change may make you struggle to keep your home comfortable on your budget.

Fortunately, you can take advantage of the latest trends in HVAC technology to make your system more energy-efficient. Here’s a look at a few upgrades that can boost your system’s performance while curbing its energy usage.

Upgrade #1: The Smart Thermostat

One of the easiest ways to upgrade your HVAC system is ditching your current thermostat for a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats work just like your old programmable thermostat, except they have all sorts of additional benefits.

What makes these thermostats smart is their long list of unique features. Nearly all smart thermostats are Wi-Fi enabled. This wireless connection allows you to control your thermostat remotely from your smartphone or any other portable device. Smart thermostats also feature self-learning capability, allowing them to study and predict your daily HVAC usage habits. With this information, they can automatically make adjustments according to your routine.

Add-ons like room sensors can help smart thermostats better detect temperature changes and adjust your HVAC usage accordingly. This activity can lower energy consumption in the process. Some smart thermostats are also capable of detecting and diagnosing issues with your system.

Upgrade #2: Zoned HVAC Systems

Another upgrade worth considering is a switch from whole-home cooling to a zoned HVAC system. A zoned system separates your home’s heating and cooling into several distinct zones through the use of dampers. Technicians can set up zoned HVAC systems to control separate floors for more efficient climate control. On the other hand, these systems can control temperatures in different rooms for increased individual comfort.

Zoned HVAC systems offer a few distinctive advantages:
Occupants in separate areas of your home can adjust HVAC settings to their comfort without making others uncomfortable.
You can individually control each zone in your home using a separate or smart thermostat.
Two-stage or variable-capacity HVAC systems can operate at a reduced capacity. This feature gives you a significant reduction in energy consumption and energy costs.
Zoned systems come with their drawbacks, however.  Adding the required dampers to your existing HVAC system can increase static pressures and negatively impact duct airflow. Installing a bypass duct can help redirect excess air, but it can also negate your energy savings.

Upgrade #3: A Variable-Speed Blower Motor

Traditional HVAC blower motors literally have a one-track mind — they’re only capable of operating at a single set speed no matter how much heating or cooling your home needs. Because your HVAC blower motor runs at full-tilt all of the time, you’ll end up with excessive energy usage as well as less control over your home’s heating and cooling.

A variable-speed blower motor, known in the HVAC business as an electronically commutated motor, offers a significant leap in HVAC efficiency and comfort. Whereas a traditional blower motor runs at 100 percent whenever it’s in motion, a variable-speed blower motor can adjust its speed to match your desired HVAC demand.

A variable-speed blower motor delivers more consistent heating and cooling and eliminates the temperature spikes common with old-school blower motors by operating at reduced speeds. Reduced speeds also mean less noise — a boon to anyone concerned with HVAC noises impacting their overall comfort.

Variable-speed blower motors use significantly less energy than their traditional counterparts as well. The motor itself also uses higher-grade internal components, giving it a longer lifespan than conventional blower motors.

Upgrade #4: Solar-Powered HVAC Systems

A growing number of homes and businesses are taking advantage of solar power. A typical solar-powered HVAC setup uses a set of solar panels to capture and convert solar energy into usable electricity and a bank of batteries to store and manage that electric energy. Upgrading your system to use the sun’s abundant resources offers an eco-friendly way to reduce your home’s energy usage.

Going solar helps reduce your home’s dependency on fossil fuel-derived electricity while saving you money on your monthly heating and cooling costs. With a battery bank installed to offset power loads and store energy, your HVAC system will also continue working during power outages. Your solar-powered upgrade may also be eligible for various local and federal tax credits that help offset installation costs.

You should not wait to invest in energy-efficient upgrades for your HVAC system. If you want to start saving money today, contact Derek Sawyer’s Heating & Air Conditioning and get started on making your existing system more energy efficient today.

Otherwise, you can contact our friends in Colorado, Done Plumbing & Heating. Done has everything their clients need to keep their Denver heating systems in excellent condition. Give them a call, and we’re sure you’ll find the help you need.

Zoned Heating Systems

Like most homeowners, you want your heating system to keep your family comfortable. At the same time, you want to consume as little energy as possible to keep home energy bills low. However, you may not achieve these goals with your current traditional forced-air heating system.

While traditional forced-air systems work well in many homes, some homeowners find that these heating systems heat their homes unevenly. Conventional forced-air systems often make the second floor of many two-story homes much warmer than the first floors. This uneven temperature often forces a home’s occupants to open windows in warmer areas of the home. This kind of compromise always leads to energy waste.

These systems can also make it difficult for families to find a temperature that makes everyone happy!

Thankfully, zoned heating systems can help solve both of these problems. They can both help keep your family more comfortable while potentially lowering home energy bills. In fact, the average homeowner saves up to 30% on energy bills after making the switch.

Read on to learn more about two zoned heating system options and which option may be best for your home.

Zoned Forced-Air Heating System

A zoned forced-air heating system provides you with all of the comforts of a traditional system. The major difference is that these systems allow you to regulate the temperature of your home’s spaces separately.

A zoned forced-air heating system allows you to separate your home into climate zones, each with a thermostat. Many homeowners choose to separate their homes into just two climate zones, each consisting of one floor of the house. Still, others prefer to turn every room of their home into its unique zone.

The thermostat added to each climate zone connects to special dampers also installed to your existing home ductwork. When the temperature in the climate zone drops below the thermostat temperature setting, the thermostat sends a signal to the dampers that trigger them to open and allow heat to flow through the vents into the climate zone. After reaching the desired thermostat setting, the dampers receive a closing signal.

When switching from a traditional forced-air heating system to a zoned system, you should replace your existing traditional furnace with a variable speed furnace. Zoned systems produce excessive wear and tear in standard furnaces. This operation often results in an overall lifespan reduction and no boost in energy efficiency.

Multi-Zone Mini-Split HVAC System

Another zoned heating option is a multi-zone mini-split or ductless system.

Unlike a zoned forced-air HVAC system, a mini-split system does not heat your home with a furnace that sends warm air through heating ducts. Instead, this system comprises an air condenser typically placed outdoors, and several indoor heating units called air handlers. This air condenser collects heat energy already found in the air and then transfers it to the indoor air handlers through special refrigerant lines.

Since the air condenser collects heat energy from the air instead of creating heat, as a furnace does, this heating system type is extremely energy-efficient.

One mini-split condenser can send heat to up to nine Indoor air handlers to create up to nine climate zones in your home. Professionals can mount these air handlers on walls, floors, heating ducts, room ceilings, or climate zone.

To ensure your multi-zone mini-split system can heat your home properly without wasting energy, you must choose a system that has a suitable BTU capacity for your home. A higher BTU mini-split system can provide more heat than one with a lower BTU capacity. While a mini-split system with a BTU capacity too low for your home may not be able to provide the heat you need, one with a too-high BTU capacity may short cycle, which can reduce energy efficiency.

Trust Derek Sawyer’s Heating & Air With Your HVAC Needs

An HVAC expert can determine the mini-split heating system capacity that is right for your home to ensure your new multi-zone heating system heats your home correctly without wasting energy.

This heating system is a great option if your home does not have air ducts or you desire a system that operates more quietly than a forced-air system.

If your current level of control over your home’s temperature is insufficient, you may want to consider a zoned system. A zoned heating system can help keep your family more comfortable while increasing home energy efficiency. Contact the HVAC experts at Derek Sawyer’s Heating & Air Conditioning for all of your home heating needs today.

4 Reasons Why Your Air Conditioner Smells

Air conditioners should make the air in your house more comfortable. However, sometimes they do the exact opposite.. This is especially true if your air conditioner is causing your home to become smelly. Odors in the air conditioner can have different causes, here are just a few.

Knowing what causes odors in the air conditioner and what you can do to stop those odors can help you take care of your air conditioner. Preventing odors can also improve your quality of life at home, as foul smells can ruin your day. Below are the many causes of odors in and around your air conditioner, and some suggestions for avoiding those problems.

1. Dirty Air Filter
The air filter is the part of your air conditioner that filters dirt and debris from the air as it circulates through your ducts. Air filters need to be replaced periodically or they can become clogged. A dirty air filter can harbor everything from dust to mold spores, depending on the quality of the air that’s circulating through the ducts.

The EPA recommends that homeowners replace their air filters at least every 3 months or more frequently, depending on how quickly the filter gets dirty. If your air conditioner smells when you run it, check the air filter first.

Air filters are generally found in the space between the return air duct and the blower. To replace the filter, remove it from the slot, and replace it with an identical filter. Most filters are disposable and can be thrown away; they’re not re-usable. If replacing your air filter doesn’t work, or if your air filter is clean, then you’ll need to explore other options.

2. Clogged Condensate Pan
Air conditioners collect moisture from the air. That moisture collects in a pan that drips outside the house, which is why you’ll see a puddle of water collect around your air conditioner. The condensate pan is a place where mold and algae grows. In fact, condensate pans need to be cleaned periodically, as do the drain lines.

If the drain lines are not cleaned and treated, they can become clogged with algae buildup, causing a smell in your house as well as a backup of water on your carpet or floor. A clogged condensate pan is a relatively easy fix for your HVAC professional, but the best way to avoid this problem is to get regular tune ups from your HVAC professional. During tune-ups, your contractor will flush the condensate pan to prevent more algae.

3. Blown Fuse
Another smell you might notice around the air conditioner is the smell of gunpowder or fireworks. This odor could be the result of a blown fuse in the air conditioner’s circuit board or fan blower. If your AC has blown a fuse, you’ll be able to tell because the AC will probably not be working at all.

The gunpowder smell will likely dissipate quickly. If you continue to smell a smoky or burning smell that grows stronger, this could be a sign of a fire. In that case, leave the house quickly and contact the fire department.

A blown fuse is a problem that points to an electrical problem, either in your home or in your air conditioner. You can catch this kind of problem by getting a regular tune up. Your air conditioner repair person can catch electrical problems in their early stages and recommend repairs before they become dire.

4. Gas Leak Distributed by Duct Work
The smell of rotten eggs is a smell that many people associate with gas leaks. Natural gas is odorless, but gas companies inject natural gas with mercaptan, a harmless gas that smells like sulfur. If the smell coming from your ducts smells like rotten eggs, this could be the result of a gas leak.

Air conditioners are not run on natural gas, so it’s unlikely that the smell is coming from your air conditioner. However, your gas-powered furnace is likely close to the return air duct and blower that distributes air throughout the house. Which means that your air conditioner could easily be distributing a gas leak throughout your house.

If you suspect that your home has gas leak, leave the house immediately. Take your pets with you. Leave your doors sitting wide open. When you’re outside the house, call for emergency help or call the emergency number for your utility company.

You can avoid many of the problems described above by getting regular tune ups from an HVAC professional. Have an expert tune up your HVAC system at least once annually to keep the components in your air conditioner in good condition. To find out more about how you can prevent unpleasant smells from affecting your air conditioner, contact the professionals at Derek Sawyer’s Heating & Air Conditioning.

6 Benefits of an Annual Furnace Cleaning

As each year passes, you may find it easier and easier to take your home heating for granted. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not worry about their furnace until a major problem has occurred. One way to prevent furnace issues is with an annual cleaning.

HVAC technicians can provide a detailed cleaning of your furnace once a year. Each cleaning comes with many benefits and will ultimately save money in the long run. Learn about the benefits and why you should make an annual furnace cleaning part of your home maintenance routine.

1. Better Efficiency

One of the biggest benefits of annual cleaning is better efficiency for your furnace. When the furnace boiler and ducts are cleaned are, the furnace will run at better rates and not need to run as long to provide heat for a home.

A furnace with better efficiency can save you much money in the long run. You do not have to pay extra oil and can heat your home for a lot less each year. Of course, the efficiency of every furnace is different. Still, in some cases, the savings from the furnace could completely offset the costs for cleaning. A special calculator can help figure out differences as well.

After your first cleaning, you can compare the money spent on oil for the year and compare the amounts to previous years to see the difference. When oil prices fluctuate, an even better comparison would be to see the number of gallons you burn through each year.

2. Cleaner Burns

When an HVAC tech cleans out your furnace, they will eliminate the dust, debris, and build-up inside the burners. The result will not only save money with better efficiency, but your furnace will have cleaner burns. The cleaner burns will improve the air quality in your home and help the environment.

An HVAC technician will inspect the furnace to check for any air leaks or carbon monoxide issues. Special tools can examine the areas and ensure all the furnace elements are locked down and in place so air leaks do not occur.

3. Quiet Operations

One of the loudest pieces of equipment in your home is typically the furnace. You will often hear the rumble and loud sounds of the furnace starting up. However, if you feel like your furnace has become louder over the years, you do not just hear things. As a furnace runs, screws become loose, panels dislodge, and vibrations increase.

Without proper maintenance, a furnace will vibrate more and become much louder than you intended. During a cleaning, a technician will help secure all furnace elements and replace screws where needed. Along with the furnace itself, the duct and pipe brackets are also secured to reduce noise.

Not only will the reduction of noise help your ears, but you can help prevent major problems that occur when a furnace vibrates or shakes too much.

4. Duct Obstructions

While we want heating ducts to provide clean elements, there may be times with obstructions cause problems and impact the way heat flows through a home. Eliminate any major duct obstructions with a furnace cleaning. Dirt is one of the more common elements filling up ducts, but your home may have rodents stuck in the ducts as well.

Cleaning out the ducts will improve both the air quality and efficiency of a furnace. If you’ve noticed that some rooms of the home do not heat up as well as others, then a duct obstruction could be one of the main causes.

5. Oil Filter Replacements

One task done during every cleaning is a full oil filter replacement. Modern oil tanks are often filled with sludge and grime. If your tank gets low on oil, the sludge can seep into the lines and clog the filter. Once a filter is changed, oil can reach the furnace easier and provide a hotter and more powerful burn.

If excess sludge does appear, an HVAC tech may try to remove extra sludge in the oil tank if the build-up has grown too big. The filter will often act as the first sign and help prevent any problems.

6. Diagnosing Small Problems

A visual and physical inspection of your furnace is one of the key ways to eliminate any signs of small problems most people will miss. For example, an HVAC tech may notice a fan is jammed or an element of the furnace leaks. When these small problems are taken care of, you can prevent bigger problems down the line.

Prevention is key, and you can keep a furnace lasting for many years with the proper maintenance and care.

For more information on furnace cleaning, contact us at Derek Sawyers Heating & Air Conditioning. We will help you schedule a cleaning and schedule future appointments to ensure you do not forget the annual care for your furnace. Shortly after a cleaning, you will notice major differences and help keep your furnace running for years into the future.

Air Conditioning and Kids: 4 Considerations

Air conditioning can ensure the comfort and safety of every member of your household, including your children. But these benefits only come if you set up your HVAC and maintain it to meet your little ones’ needs properly.

Whether you already have children or you plan to grow your family in the near future, it pays to understand how air conditioning can help kids, how improper air conditioning management might do more harm than good, and what options you might want to pursue. Here are four considerations to keep in mind.

1. Climate Control for Babies

Preparations for bringing a new baby home should include more than just painting the nursery and selecting a crib. Infants have some special needs that call for fine control of their environment, including temperature and moisture levels. You may have to modify your air conditioning set up per these needs.

Newborn babies have more difficulty controlling their body temperature than older kids or adults. This adaptability challenge makes air conditioning a critical factor in supporting your baby’s health, safety, and wellness. Bear in mind, however, that a chilly room can prove just as unhealthy as a stiflingly hot one.

As a general rule, try to keep the air temperature in your baby’s room around 73 degrees to 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Crack a window or door to help fresh air circulate, even if it impacts energy efficiency.

Babies also have delicate skin that can easily dry out under air conditioning. Moisturize your baby’s skin at regular intervals to counteract the drying effect of air conditioning. Consider adding a humidifier to the room for additional humidity control.

2. Pediatric Asthma and Allergy Moderation

Respiratory issues such as asthma and allergies commonly afflict children. In addition, dust, dander, mold spores, and other airborne particles can contribute to symptoms such as wheezing, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, runny nose, and shortness of breath. Ideally, your HVAC system can ease such issues by filtering out these particles.

Unfortunately, an air conditioning system that has not received proper maintenance can actually add to children’s respiratory distress instead of relieving it. Dirty air ducts, moldy vents, and clogged air filters can push accumulated contaminants into the air or fail to filter existing airborne contaminants efficiently.

If your child shows signs of asthma or allergies around the house, have your air conditioning system inspected and, if necessary, thoroughly cleaned. Replace air filters as soon as they show signs of dirt. Ask your air conditioning technician to recommend a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter that can filter out all but the tiniest particles.

3. Indoor AC Components

The same ventilation network that can help or hurt respiratory issues in children can also invite injuries. Air vent registers (the shuttered or grilled panels that actually allow air to pass into individual points in a room) often have sharp metal edges or points on them, potentially cutting fingers or causing other damage.

While the registers placed high up on walls should pose no threat to children, babies or toddlers may hurt themselves on registers placed at or near floor level. If you have metal registers in these areas, have them replaced with child-safe plastic ones. Also, secure floor registers to prevent kids from removing them and leaving an uncovered hole.

Curious children also enjoy dropping toys or other objects into open spaces, including air conditioning registers. This habit can wreak havoc on mechanical parts, contribute to duct blockages, or force you to keep removing the registers and fishing out the dropped objects.

You can alleviate these issues by placing some screen or mesh between the outer register and the passage leading to the ducts. For instance, your air conditioning technician might install an inline air filter compatible with your particular HVAC setup.

4. Outdoor AC Components

As you work on child-proofing your central air conditioning system, don’t forget about the outdoor components that play a vital role in making the system work. The bulky condenser unit next to the wall contains a high-powered fan to control hot airflow. Unfortunately, this fan poses a threat to the fingers of curious kids.

You might assume that placing a snugly fitted enclosure around your condenser would solve this problem. But, unfortunately, this strategy may also limit airflow, reducing the condenser’s efficiency. Again, an air conditioning specialist can advise you on what kind of fence or another protective barrier will serve both your kids and your air conditioner.

If you need to optimize your home’s air conditioning to give every member of your family a high quality of life and safe home, Derek Sawyer’s Smart Energy Heating & Air has the installation, repair, and maintenance skills to support that goal. Contact us today to learn more about your residential air conditioning options. We look forward to working with you.

Is It Time To Replace Your Air Conditioning Unit?

Is It Time To Replace Your Air Conditioning Unit?

If your AC isn’t working well, especially if it’s functioning worse than it did when you bought it, then there is a good chance that you’re wondering if it’s time for repairs. Well, there’s a good chance you may be asking yourself the wrong question. Depending on your air conditioning unit’s age and history, it may be time to replace it with a completely new system. Let’s talk about the top 5 most important things to consider when deciding whether to replace your air conditioning unit.

Your Home Feels Like A Sauna

If the sweltering heat of the sun is causing you to work up a sweat, then your air conditioning unit is likely on its last leg. A new unit should be able to keep your temperature steady regardless of how strongly the sun is shining. As a bonus, an air conditioning unit that works efficiently also won’t work as hard to cool your home, thus saving you money in the long run.

Electricity Bills Seem To Explode

When utility bills seem to rise whenever you turn on your AC, it is a good sign that it is time to replace it. Units that malfunction not only waste electricity, they often fail to cool your home properly. At this rate new unit should work at a fraction of the cost of your current, old model.

Your AC Is 10 Years Old Or Older

If your AC looks like it would be right at home in a museum, you’re likely better off finding a replacement. An air conditioning unit’s lifespan can be as long as 15 years but is often much shorter than that. It is more likely than not that by your unit’s tenth year of service, it will start needing constant, costly repairs. At that point, you are better off finding yourself a new Energy Star-rated unit that will last another 10+ years.

The Unit Is Facing Extensive Repairs

Whether your unit was damaged or has worn down from use, you may find that it will need complex repairs. Even once the unit has been fixed, it will likely either need constant future repairs or corrections. Either way, it is unlikely that it will run as well as it did before. To save yourself the hassle and cost of future repairs, buying a new air conditioning unit may save you time and money in the long run.

Costly Repairs Are Coming Your Way

When all is said and done, a new air conditioning unit can be the best choice for your finances. Rather than repair a failing unit over and over again as it fails repeatedly, you can purchase a new, efficient system. Doing so will help you enjoy a fresh current of cool air throughout your house.

Still Not Sure About What To Do With Your Air Conditioning Unit?

To receive an expert’s opinion on the state of your air conditioning unit, contact the knowledgeable team at Derek Sawyer’s Heating and Air conditioning. We will answer any of the questions you may have and can even help schedule an appointment so that one of our trained technicians can take a look at your unit.

Is a High SEER Rating Important for Your Home’s AC?

Do you need a new air conditioner? Should your future central system have the highest seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) available? If you’ve heard a high SEER rating is the way to go, take a look at what you need to know about this number, energy efficiency, and home cooling before you invest in a new AC system.

What Is a SEER Rating?

The seasonal energy efficiency ratio is exactly what the name says—the ratio (number) of the air conditioner’s energy efficiency over the annual cooling season. More specifically, this ratio measures the total heat the air conditioner removes (from the interior space) divided by the electricity the system uses annually.

What Is a High SEER Rating?

A higher SEER rating should equal increased energy efficiency and lower electricity bills. The reduced energy usage and operating costs of high SEER number units often appeal to homeowners who want to save money and help the planet.

While new technology and innovations allow the HVAC industry to increase efficiency, current top SEER numbers range from the 18 to the miod-20’s.

How Can a Homeowner Find Out the SEER Rating?

What is the SEER rating of the air conditioner you want to buy and install? The SEER number is listed on the unit itself. But if you haven’t seen the unit or are ordering the AC system from an HVAC contractor, ask the professional. The technician or installation expert can provide you with the SEER rating before you commit to a new purchase.

Is Higher Better?

Even though it might seem like the highest SEER number possible is the best unit for your home, this isn’t always true. While a high SEER rating indicates the air conditioner’s advanced ability to efficiently remove heat from the indoor environment (your home’s space) over the course of one cooling system, a 20-plus unit isn’t always the best choice.

In general, higher SEER rated air conditioners are more expensive. While you can find high SEER number systems at a variety of price points, the quality and technology used in most of these air conditioners comes at a greater initial purchase cost in comparison to a unit rated in the low teens.

If you want to lower overall air conditioner-related costs, you need to calculate the cost savings of a higher SEER unit versus the initial purchase price. Some high-prices/high-SEER units may not pay for themselves over time. A qualified HVAC contractor can help you to calculate the cost-savings difference between SEER ratings and compare the price of use to the purchase and installation costs.

Is Lower Better?

In general, a lower SEER rating isn’t a better choice. While the highest SEER rated air conditioner isn’t necessary in every home, the lowest SEER rated model can cost you in excessive energy bills. Even though low SEER rated units are cheaper to buy, you are likely to pay more in energy costs. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests homeowners choose models with a minimum of a 15 SEER rating.

A low SEER rated system may need to run for longer periods of time to cool your home effectively. Along with cooling the air, the AC system also removed humidity. Lower SEER units may not dehumidify your home completely. This can leave the indoor air sticky and uncomfortable.

Is the SEER Rating the Only Feature to Look For?

While SEER rating is key to lowering home energy usage and the related cooling costs, it doesn’t always guarantee a low electricity bill. The system’s components or features also play key roles in how well your air conditioner works.

A single speed air handler is the least efficient option for a new AC unit. A two-speed air handler can reduce costs, in comparison to a single-speed selection. But if you want to save the most money in cooling costs, a variable speed air handler is the best option, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Along with the air handler, the thermal expansion valve can add to the unit’s overall energy efficiency. Don’t worry if you have little to no knowledge of the air conditioner’s parts. A qualified HVAC contractor can help you to choose the right combination of features and SEER number for your home’s needs.

Does Installation Play a Role in Home Cooling?

Simply stated: yes, installation plays a primary role in your new air conditioner’s ability to efficiently and effectively cool your home. A high SEER rated air conditioner that’s the wrong size for your home’s interior space and energy needs may not save you money.

An HVAC contractor can calculate size based on the square footage to cool combined with potential energy loss (such as leaky air ducts or poor insulation). They can also install the unit to the manufacturer’s specifications and make sure the ducts, thermostat, and other parts of the system work correctly.

Do you need a new air conditioner? Contact Derek Sawyers Heating & Air Conditioning for more information.

© 2022 Derek Sawyers Heating & Air Inc. Content, including images, displayed on this website is protected by copyright laws. Downloading, republication, retransmission or reproduction of content on this website is strictly prohibited. Privacy Policy | Accessibility Statement
Digital Marketing by Contractor-Advertising