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.

On Maintaining Your HVAC Unit after the Winter: Keep It Functional

The harshest winter in recent memory has finally ended. People can now take off their jackets and gloves to look forward to the warmer tempe...