Sunday, August 17, 2014

Costs Involved in Owning an HVAC System

As any HVAC Contractor can tell you, the advantages of an HVAC system do not come without costs. While climate control allows you to stay in your home in relative comfort, there are several ongoing costs that are associated with owning and using such a system. 


Electrical Costs

Considering that an HVAC system consumes up to 54% of your electricity, artificial climate control is definitely expensive. The components of the system must all be in optimal condition to function properly. If one part is compromised, it may affect other parts as well, leading to increased electrical consumption. Some common issues include a broken thermostat, refrigerant leaks, filters that need replacing, and dampers that must be balanced. The good news is that each of these items is cheap to fix. Making sure these parts work ensures that your system won’t consume more energy than expected. 

Maintenance Costs

Since prevention is better than cure, maintenance costs are another necessary expense for HVAC system owners. Maintenance involves tasks like cleaning it, using consistent temperature settings, replacing air filters, and tuning up components. While you can do some of these tasks on your own without having to buy replacement parts, the time investment and supplies involved would still eventually translate into monetary costs. However, if you consider the expenses in getting big problems repaired, you’ll see that proactively keeping your system in shape is the lesser of two evils.

Repair Costs

Even if you do it right, maintenance doesn’t guarantee that problems will not pop up. Sometimes the system fails in a major way, so troubleshooting and repair has to be done. Doing those tasks by yourself can be a handful, but rewarding: you can try looking into the system to find out what’s going on. Some steps include looking at the system’s motor if it needs resetting, checking if the thermostat’s working properly, and seeing if the circuit breaker has popped, in which case a fuse just needs to be replaced. While getting the problem fixed yourself can be fulfilling, you also risk making it worse if you make a mistake or get lost in the repair process; this can lead to even bigger costs in solving the problem. For this reason, it would be safer to depend on a HVAC contractor with experience to fulfill your HVAC repair needs.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

AC Not Working? Some Points for Troubleshooting

Has your AC ever failed you on a hot summer day? Maybe it simply won’t turn on, or only warm air comes out, or the fan runs but the compressor isn’t working. You check the switches, the filters and even the thermostat setting, but still nothing works. Is it time to call an air conditioning repair service?

How Does an Air Conditioning Unit Work?

Your AC uses refrigeration to chill indoor air. The process is called “phase conversion”, where a liquid is converted into a gas in a process that absorbs heat. The heat is absorbed from hot air, leaving only cool air behind. Air conditioners exploit the process by forcing special chemical compounds, called refrigerants, to evaporate and condense in an absolute manner in a closed system of coils.

The Hardware

The conventional AC has four major parts: an evaporator, a compressor, an expansion valve, and a condenser. The evaporator is located on the “cold side” of an air conditioning unit. It is placed over a set of chilled coils where the AC refrigerant expands into gas, which is what makes cold air that is blown out of the AC. The refrigerant comes in from the “hot side”, which contains the compressor, the expansion valve, and the condenser. While the evaporator is the part where the refrigerant turns into gas and makes air cool, the condenser, compressor, and expansion valve work together to ensure the refrigerant turns back into liquid; the heat generated from the process results in hot air that is blown out of the other side of the AC system. Filters and fans keep air moving through the unit while keeping dirt out, and moisture pans collect any water that is removed from humid air flowing through the AC.

The Usual Suspects

The most common air conditioning problem is improper operation; when your unit is on just make sure to close all doors and windows. Inadequate maintenance is also a factor; we may not admit it but we tend to neglect our unit. And clogged drainage occurs if the unit is not properly mounted at an acceptable level. These issues are not focused on a specific group; it can happen to anybody’s unit. When the problem is beyond your scope, better call an air conditioning repair service to address the matter.

Monday, July 7, 2014

5 Air Conditioning Tips Before Summer Begins

With summer soon to be here everyone is starting to get ready for the ever rising temperatures. Even though many of us have been waiting for warmer weather to arrive, when it finally does we quickly remember just how hot it can get!

So how can you get ready for the overbearing heat that is soon to be upon us?

You can start with your air conditioning. You don't want to feel oppressed by temperatures that are as hot as they are out site. Running your air conditioner can be expensive, to help you to keep it running as efficiently as possible we've compiled these 5 simple tips.

By following them you can help to keep your air conditioner running in top performance through the hot summer months.
  1. Clean or Replace Your Air Filters The air handler of your air conditioner has filters that fill up with debris and dust over time. As a result the machine runs less efficiently, which makes it both more expensive to run, and also less effective. Fortunately there is a simple solution to this, clean or replace your filters. In addition to saving you money, and keeping your unit running better, clean filters also prevent dust and allergens from recirculating in your home.
  2. Check Your Coolant Lines: There are refrigerant pipes that run from the evaporator to the air handler and into the condenser on your air conditioner. In order to help save energy these lines are normally wrapped insulation. When you check your coolant lines makes sure that you look for missing, frayed, or damaged insulation. If you find any of these then you should either replace your insulation or wrap your lines in insulation tape.
  3. Maintain Your Plants: Make sure that you take the time to trim any plants and bushes around your air conditioner. Your air conditioner needs at least 12 inches of clearance in order to allow air to flow freely to and from it. Although this might seem like a silly tip, the fact is that many homeowners allow shrubbery to become overgrown, this impacting the efficiency of their unit.
  4. Keep Your Pets Away From The Unit Dogs like to mark their territory. Unfortunately if your beloved dog decides that your air conditioner is theirs then the urine can be very damaging to it. Urine contains corrosive acid that over time will damage your air conditioner. So make sure that you keep your air conditioner clean, and make sure that your dog keeps their distance.
  5. Make Sure That Annual Maintenance Is A Priority! Finally, the last thing you need to do is to make sure that your air conditioner is professionally serviced every year. A professional can clean your unit, and make sure that everything is in proper working order. While it's fine to take on some minor maintenance issues on your own, but if you want to get the most out of your machine call in the professionals!
Contact Comfort Professionals today about your air conditioning maintenance or repair at (703) 368-6204.
We service such areas as Bristow, Haymarket and Gainesville, VA and all of Northern Virginia.

Get the most out of your A/C with a Filter Change

Having an air conditioner installed in the home is an ideal way to deal with harsh climatic conditions. Simultaneously, maintaining these machines is a must when it comes to ensuring that the air conditioner works at its full capacity for a long span.

Changing the air conditioner is an ideal way of achieving this goal. Changing the filter will ensure that your A/C unit cools your home faster than when it is clogged with debris from a dirty filter. Not changing the filter for a long time can also accelerate the wear and tear of the compressor and it may eventually need to be replaced. The third reason for changing is that inefficient cooling systems often adds surplus waste to the environment and that could to greenhouse gas emissions.

There are few things you need to consider when changing in the air conditioner filter.

How often should you change? An ideal scenario would be to change the filter every month depending on the usage and the different factors that control a home. If your house has a lot of dust then it is advisable to change the filter every month.

  • Types of Air Conditioning Filters: Pleated Filters: They help you get rid of all airborne impurities in your home. These filters should be changed every month.
  • Electrostatic Filters: They are ideal in dealing with different kinds of waste and prevent foul smell from entering your house.
  • High Efficiency Filters: They are believed to be the most effective of all filter systems. They can prevent almost 99% particles (having a diameter less than a human hair) from polluting your home.

Hire the right air conditioning repair company.

Working with a true professional like Comfort Professionals will ensure your air conditioning system has the correct filter or any other repair. Contact us today for your air conditioning repairs (703) 368-6204

We service such areas as Bristow, Gainesville, Haymarket and all of Northern Virginia.